Yaxwiwe' frontlet with brightly painted hawk face surrounded by abalone inlays, sea lion whiskers, cotton and ermine train
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Hawk headdress

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This beautiful frontlet is made from some amazing materials including swan’s down, whale baleen and laundry powder. Reckitt’s Blue washing powder was used before the invention of modern laundry detergent and it also produced a vibrant deep blue paint colour that became a Kwakwaka’wakw favourite.


Xi’xa’niyus, Bob Harris (attributed)

Catalogue Information


Wood, Alder; Cloth, Cotton; Pelt, Ermine; Down, Swan; Baleen, Whale; Shell, Abalone; Paint


21.0 cm x 21.0 cm

Accession Number


Physical Description

Chief's headdress for dancing. The headdress has a square frontlet carved from red cedar to represent a hawk in high relief. Above and below are ears and legs carved in intaglio. The rim displays abalone shell inlays on a green background, each separated by a red line. The edge is carved and painted in red. The frontlet’s cut corners are typical of its carver’s style, Xi’xa’niyus. Attached to it is swan's down, and sea lion whiskers. Attached at the back is a train with 10 ermine pelts. The ermines have red felt tied to their feet. White, red, blue, green, black.