Museums Home BMAGiC Home Search Browse BMAGiC Help About BMAGiC Contact Us

Back to the previous page

Argillite Bowl in the Form of a Bear

View main imageView larger image
Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery

Additional Images

Click on each image below to view at full size:
View image 2 View image 3 View image 4 

Basic Information

Accession Number:1979A316
Collection:Ethnography - North America
Date:1875 - 1900

Maker Information

Attributed to:Charles Edensaw - View biography for Charles Edensaw
Maker:Haida - View history


The grizzly bear is a totem, or family crest, which the Indian peoples of the Northwest Coastal region carve on objects as a reminder of their spiritual guardians or ancestors.This bowl was made by an artist from the Haida people who live on Queen Charlotte Island. They began carving objects from argillite (a soft black stone) in the late eighteenth century. Bowls, pipes and miniature totem poles were made to meet the demands of traders and souvenir hunters from Europe and America.

Purchased from Christie's.

Further Information

Production Period:19th century
Place of Origin:British Columbia, Canada


Height:315 mm
Width:190 mm
Depth:110 mm