Collection online

Copper from the Hood

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Copper from the Hood
  • Description

    A copper-plated and painted car bonnet sculpture.

  • Producer name

  • Ethnic name

  • Date

    • 2011
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Width: 132 centimetres
    • Height: 102.5 centimetres
    • Depth: 10 centimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

        maker's mark
      • Inscription Position

      • Inscription Language

      • Inscription Comment

        Artist's signature and mark (fish glyph) and date
  • Curator's comments

    The acquisition of this artwork was announced in Canadian newspapers:

    Vancouver Sun, 23rd April 2011: "Work acquired by British Museum embodies Haida identity in several layers of symbolism". Kevin Griffin.

    Queen Charlotte Islands Observer, 25th July 2011: "Haida piece most significant for British Museum". Heather RamsayIn the book "The Seriousness of Play", which discusses Yahgulanaas' work, Nicola Levell writes that this piece depicts "among other forms, a small bird and a woodworm. It has been suggested that this refers to the Haida oral history concerning a young girl secretly kept a woodworm as a pet. She constantly fed her hidden woodworm to such a degree that it became insatiable. it began devouring everything in sight. When the Haida people discovered the gluttonous creature they were forced to kill it to prevent it from eating all their supplies. There is a playful prank at work: in sending his Copper to the British Museum, Yahgulanaas knew that the woodworm would be placed among thousands of wooden objects, 'hidden' treasures to be consumed. The imagery can therefore be understood as an ongoing critique of museums as keepers and containers of cultural heritage." (p.114)


  • Bibliography

    • Levell 2016 p.114 bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G29a

  • Exhibition history

    2011-2012 25 Oct - 5 Feb, Perth, Western Australian Museum, Extraordinary Stories from the British Museum
    2012 Mar-Jul, Abu Dhabi, Manarat al Saadiyat, Treasures of the World's Cultures
    2012-2013 30 Nov-7 Apr, Bonn, Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, Treasures of the World's Cultures

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Commissioned from the artist

  • Department

    Africa, Oceania & the Americas

  • Registration number


A copper-plated and painted car bonnet sculpture.

reproduced by permission of the artist. the artist would like his website, to be referenced in the credit line as well. No caption entered

Image description



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Object reference number: ENA119098

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