- Museum number
Wooden harpoon shaft with bone foreshaft, elaborately carved.
- Production date
Length: 175 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- Spirit Sings entry reads, p.141: 'N 422. West Coast, 18th century. Whalebone, fibre, wood. L 175 (overall) L 50 (bone point) L 12 (cord-wrapped joint) L 113 (handle). Ex: Oldman; may have been collected by Captain G Vancouver. Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum, London. 1949 Am 22.85. A short whalebone pike or spear is set in a long carved yew-wood handle. The carving of the handle is the most elaborate example of three-dimensional West Coast carving, and represents a series of intertwined animals, such as a bird sitting on the head of a human being, 2 feathered lightning snakes, and many more, going in or out of each other's mouths. This type of pike was used in warfare (Drucker 1951: 335). The figurative designs carved on this weapon represent spirit-helpers from which the warrior-chief would gain his power and invulnerability. Ref: J H King 1981: 38.' see JCH King `First Peoples, First Contacts' British Museum Press 1999; see JCH King `Artificial Curiosities of the North West Coast of America' BMP Ltd 1981.
North West Coast.
Oldman Collection, Oldman No. 773.
"Collected by Vancouver"
See ETH DOC 1307.
- On display (G26/dc6)
- Exhibition history
1979-1980 15 Feb-29 Sept, London, Museum of Mankind; Captain Cook in the South Seas
1988 15 Jan-1 May, Glenbow Museum, Calgary, The Spirit Sings: Artistic Traditions of Canada's First Peoples
1988 1 Jul-1 Nov, Museum of Civilization, Lorne Building, Ottawa, The Spirit Sings: Artistic Traditions of Canada's First Peoples
1999 25 Jun-Present, BM Room 26; Gallery of North America, Case: "The Mowachaht of Vancouver Island"
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Collected on George Vancouver's North Pacific voyage of 1791-1795.
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number