Vintage Frog Bowl, c. 1960 Tlingit Culture alder, bone and abalone inlay, pigment 5.5" high x 14" long x 8"deep
Northwest Coast feasting bowls were used to serve everything from dried salmon or other fish, seal meat, berries, beaten soapberries, and fish or seal oil used to dip food. This particular bowl depicts Frog, which is most likely a clan or crest figure of the carver. The bowl is elaborately carved, and would have been used in important ceremonies or given as a gift to a high ranking guest.
The frog is a supernatural being which inhabits the human, as well as the spirit world. He adapts easily to his environment and communicates between the two realms. Frogs also represent wealth, abundance, ancient wisdom, rebirth, and good luck.
In the natural world, frogs can easily switch between water and land and they are associated with springtime, renewal, and the changing of the seasons. When spring comes, and they start to croak loudly, it is the signal for tribes of the Northwest coast to end their winter ceremonies and prepare for the next hunting and fishing season.