Nuu-Chah-Nulth Basketry Hat with Tlakwa (Copper) Designs, c. 1910
Polychrome Rain Hat with Tlakwa (Copper) Designs, c. 1910 Nuu-Chah-Nulth (Nootka) cedar bark, natural and trade pigments 7” high x 14.5” diameter *custom made metal stand included
Rare historic Nuu-Chah-Nulth cedar bark hat with four tlakwa (copper) designs. The tlakwa is a symbol of great wealth, cultural nourishment, and spiritual power among the Kwakiutl, the Tsimshian, the Tlingit, the Haida, and other indigenous peoples of coastal British Columbia.
Names of high ranking people often contained references to copper, such as “Born to be Copper Maker Woman” and “Copper Maker.” Copper was also used as a decorative motif on garments, staffs, and crest carvings, where it represented wealth. Copper was also considered to possess magical properties affecting human health. This hat would have been made for a high ranking individual because of the tlakwa designs.
The hat is in near mint condition. The hat has had expert restoration work at the rim in a 2” section.