Date Made/Found: ca. 1840-1880
Material and Medium: argillite, bone(?), abalone inlay
Dimensions: Overall: 65 x 513mm (2 9/16 x 20 3/16in.)
Place Object Found:
Queen Charlotte Islands
Accession Number: J1944.81
Argillite or flute made of carved black shale. On the top, it has a figure of a whale (has also been described as dogfish which is a small species of shark) with eyes of abalone shell and two carved human heads, and four holes of inlaid bone or ivory. A piece depicting one of its terminal dorsal fin is missing. The remainder of the flute has a carved line design which is partly matted.
It was made to cater to the 'tourist' market due to the increase of European/Euro-American sailors to the region from the early 1800s. Therefore, it was never meant to have functioned as an instrument although it could be played. Both dogfish and whales figures were important crest and mythic beings amongst the Haida people.Display Location: