Grave Marker in the Form of a Copper
Arts of the Americas
late 19th century
This item is not on view
Museum Expedition 1908, Museum Collection Fund
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Gwa'sala Kwakwaka'wakw (Native American). Grave Marker in the Form of a Copper, late 19th century. Wood, pigment, 50 x 20 in. (127 x 50.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1908, Museum Collection Fund, 08.491.8895. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 08.491.8895.jpg)
overall, 08.491.8895.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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Polychrome wood "copper". Ceremonial shields called “coppers" were highly-prized emblems of wealth among the Northwest Coast peoples, and were both traded and displayed during potlatches, ceremonial gatherings. The wooden grave marker in a copper form is a reference to the affluence and importance of the individual. One half of its top section is missing. On the remaining section one half of a bird's face is visible. On the lower portion, divided by a central vertical line, bird wings are visible.
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