Gwa'sala Kwakwaka'wakw. <em>Grave Marker in the Form of a Copper</em>, late 19th century. Wood, pigment, 50 x 20 in. (127 x 50.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1908, Museum Collection Fund, 08.491.8895. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 08.491.8895.jpg)

Grave Marker in the Form of a Copper

Artist:Gwa'sala Kwakwaka'wakw

Medium: Wood, pigment

Geograhical Locations:

Dates:late 19th century

Dimensions: 50 x 20 in. (127 x 50.8 cm)


Accession Number: 08.491.8895

Image: 08.491.8895.jpg,

Catalogue Description:
Polychrome wood "copper". Ceremonial shields called “coppers" were highly-prized emblems of wealth among the Northwest Coast peoples, and were both traded and displayed during potlatches, ceremonial gatherings. The wooden grave marker in a copper form is a reference to the affluence and importance of the individual. One half of its top section is missing. On the remaining section one half of a bird's face is visible. On the lower portion, divided by a central vertical line, bird wings are visible.

Brooklyn Museum