Hoohlgan (Chief’s box)

Hoohlgan (Chief’s box)

Prior to European contact, ceremonial costumes, headdresses, helmets, talking sticks, rattles, and spoons were often kept in a hoohlg-an, a chief’s bentwood cedar box that was meticulously carved, painted, and inlaid with precious shells. This hoohlg-an belonged to James Ksdiyaawak- and is decorated with his ayukws (crests). It is a masterpiece of design and craftsmanship. The four sides of the box are made from a single piece of wood that was steamed and bent at the corners. The sides are attached to the top; the whole telescopes over a smaller, fitted interior box. The exterior designs are both carved and painted, and the edges of the top and bottom are decorated with marine turban snails. Acquired at Gitlaxt’aamiks, 1905.