“Tsimshian Dancing Headdress”

Acrylic on Canvas   |   36  X  18   |   $2000

This Tsimshian frontlet dancing headdress from British Columbia is carved out of wood, inlaid with abalone shell, adorned with ermine skin dangles, and crowned with seal whiskers. The ownership of such an elaborate headdress was the prerogative of chiefs, and was part of the ensemble of chiefly regalia. This ensemble often included a Chilkat blanket wrapped around the shoulders and a bird rattle held in one hand. Loose eagle or swan’s down piled into the “cage” formed by the upright sea lion whiskers on top of the frontlet shook loose and floated around the chief while he danced, welcoming guests as a symbol of peace. The plaque that is carved from hardwood represents a mythical creature linked to the chief’s lineage…in this case, a beaver.