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Tlakwa (Copper)

Kwakwaka%27wakw%20artist%2C%20%3Cb%3E%3Ci%3E%20Tlakwa%20%28Copper%29%3C%2Fi%3E%3C%2Fb%3E%2C%20ca.%201890%2C%20copper%2C%20metal%20rivets%2C%20and%20pigment%2C%20The%20Elizabeth%20Cole%20Butler%20Collection%2C%20no%20known%20copyright%20restrictions%2C%2087.88.65
Kwakwaka'wakw artist, Tlakwa (Copper), ca. 1890, copper, metal rivets, and pigment, The Elizabeth Cole Butler Collection, no known copyright restrictions, 87.88.65

Kwakwaka%27wakw%20artist%2C%20%3Cb%3E%3Ci%3E%20Tlakwa%20%28Copper%29%3C%2Fi%3E%3C%2Fb%3E%2C%20ca.%201890%2C%20copper%2C%20metal%20rivets%2C%20and%20pigment%2C%20The%20Elizabeth%20Cole%20Butler%20Collection%2C%20no%20known%20copyright%20restrictions%2C%2087.88.65

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Details
Title

Tlakwa (Copper)

Artist

Kwakwaka'wakw artist (Kwakwaka'wakw)

Date

ca. 1890

Medium

copper, metal rivets, and pigment

Dimensions (H x W x D)

24 1/2 in x 13 3/8 in

Collection Area

Native American Art

Category

Northwest Coast

Ceremonial and Ritual Objects

Object Type

copper

Cultural Group

Kwakwaka'wakw

Credit Line

The Elizabeth Cole Butler Collection

Accession Number

87.88.65

Copyright

no known copyright restrictions

Terms

copper

Kwakiutl

metal

Northwest Coast Native American styles

paint

The Elizabeth Cole Butler Collection

whales

Location

Belluschi Building

Hoffman Wing

2nd Floor

Broughton Bishop Family Gallery

Description

Symbolizing great concentrations of wealth and prestige, coppers, or tlakwa, are publicly displayed on ceremonial occasions. Among the Kwakwaka’wakw, these copper plaques are cut or broken and the pieces are distributed to rivals as a means of intimidation through a show of wealth. Visual evidence indicates that this copper had been broken into multiple sections, then pieced back together with rivets along the ridge. The painted killer whale crest design reflects a more recent addition, perhaps applied over an earlier rendering. Coppers are esteemed items, and their ceremonial transfer remains part of dowry negotiations for the Kwakawa’wakw.

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