X-rare Northwest Coast Raven Grease Bowl 1800s Suquamish, Bainbridge Island, Wa
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X-rare Northwest Coast Raven Grease Bowl 1800s Suquamish, Bainbridge Island, Wa :
Ancient Art, Antiques, & FineCollectibles
Note:I certify that this antique grease bowl was reportedly traded for on Bainbridge Island, WA, with the owner's permission in the 1800s.
Suquamish Tribe Raven Grease Bowl
Estimated Date: 1750—1850
Find Location: Northwest Coast, USA, BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, WA, 19th Century Find
Approximate Measurements:Length: Width: Height: Weight: 9.3oz. (265 gr)
This fascinating wooden Grease Bowl carved into the shape of “The Trickster Raven” came from a very old Pacific Northwestern collection of artifacts from the Puget Sound area. The entire estate collection was obtained decades ago from the late Mrs. Henrietta Swanson’s relatives, whose family had early Seattle / island connections. Her descendants stated that the original collector had told Mrs. Swanson that their great grandfather acquired it in a trade on Bainbridge island around the late 1890s. The style of carving and the patina of the wood suggests that it was made decades or perhaps a century before.
This Raven Grease Bowl effigy shows a fierce, open-beak Raven at one end, with his curled tail along the opposite end. Inside the open beak, there are still remnants of dried grease. There is a single hole that was drilled from the mouth of the Raven to the inside of the bowl. The Raven’s shows ware on his lightly discolored, almond-shaped eyes and snout. His gapping, open mouth gives this piece a fierce and rather creepy perspective, as the Raven was thought to scare away Evil Spirits.
Minor dings, surface cracks, abrasion marks, grease/oil stains are consistent with age and heavy use over centuries. Deep chisel cuts are especially evident on the inside of the bowl. A very early and RARE wooden artifact from the pre-white settler indigenous population of the island/region.
Although fish was the staple food of Suquamish People, the surrounding forested mountains supported a wide variety of small and large game.
Tales that feature the Raven as the hero are specific to areas on the NW Pacific Coast, such as Alaska and northern British Columbia and their peoples, the Tsimshian, and the Haida. In fact, the Haida tribe credits Raven for discovering the first humans who were hiding in a clam shell; he brought them berries and salmon.
Once the Washington Territory was established in 1853, the U.S. government began signing treaties with area indigenous leaders to extinguish aboriginal claims and make land available for non-Native settlement. In the Point Elliott Treaty signed on January 22, 1855, the Suquamish agreed to cede land to the United States in exchange for certain payments and obligations. They reserved for themselves the land that became designated as the Port Madison Indian Reservation, near their winter village on Agate Pass. They also reserved the right to fish and harvest shellfish in their Usual and Accustomed Areas, and reserved certain cultural and natural resource rights within their historical territory. Today, the Suquamish Tribe is a co-manager with the State of Washington of the state's salmon fishery.
This authentic, Raven Grease Bowl is from the estate of a prominent collector in Ontario California. I recently acquired it from a private collector. This bowl will be accompanied by my Certificate of Authenticity at no additional charge.
The Spirit World, by the Editors of Time Life, 1992, pgs. 36-42.
Spirit Faces: Contemporary Masks of the Northwest Coast, by Gary Wyatt, 1998.
The Coppers of the Northwest Coast Indians: Their Origin ..., Volume 79, Carol F. Jopling, pgs. 117—119.
Understanding Northwest Coast Art: A Guide to Crests, Beings and Symbols, Cheryl Shearar,
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