Art & Artists / Highlights / Comb


Late 18th century
North America : Tlingit
Caribou antler
h. 10.8 x w. 6.0 x d. 1.5 cm
UEA 875

This well preserved comb was collected from among the Tlingit in 1794, during Vancouver’s voyage in the Pacific. It possibly depicts the much revered mythical raven, capable of transforming himself into many guises, with humanoid features and wearing his wings as a cloak. His broad beak delineates the form of the wings, enclosing the eyes and other shapes which stand for joints and feathers. Combs have been used as hair ornaments, for combing wool and cedar bark used in weaving, and have also been found in shaman’s kits.

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