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Bowl in beaver form

Bowl in beaver form
Late 18th/early 19th century
North America : Tlingit
Wood
l. 22.9 cm
UEA 123

Considered to be of Northwest Coast Tlingit origin, this finely carved nineteenth century bowl would have been used at potlatch feasts. Potlatch was large-scale gathering which involved feasting, singing, dance, entertainment and distribution of food and property.

This bowl would have been used to serve fish oil or seal oil, which was eaten with dried salmon and other delicacies. The wood (probably alder) is completely blackened and saturated with oil, suggesting a long period of use.

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