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Object #2004-2/100
Object nameButton Blanket
Culture of OriginKwakwaka'wakw
Maker or ArtistElizabeth Christine Wamiss
MaterialsWool Cloth, Red, Dark Blue, Button, Sequin, Green, Bead, Green
TechniquesSewn, Appliqued
Exhibit Label"Button blankets" were first made in the early 19th century from wool trade cloth imported by the fur traders to the Northwest Coast. They eventually replaced the older painted hide robes worn to display the crests of the owners. These ceremonial robes remained important throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, even when potlatching was illegal in Canada. Today, the button blanket continues to be one of the most important types of ceremonial robe made and worn throughout the Northwest Coast. The "tree of life" (gwa'ka'lee'ka'la) is the red cedar tree. It is a traditional pattern shared by many Kwakwaka'wakw families. Kwakwaka'wakw robes are known for the extensive use of buttons sewn on the borders.
DimensionsL: 154.0 cm, W: 175.0 cm
SourceMr. Arthur B. Steinman
CreditGift of Arthur B. Steinman

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