Yaxwiwe' or killer whale frontlet, pentagonal shape, sea lion whiskers and fur trim, abalone inlays
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Killer Whale Frontlet

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Abalone shell was highly prized among the Northwest Coast peoples and was traded up the coast from California. Local abalone shell is not desirable due to its pale color. Whale baleen was also used as a crown which can be seen on this headdress.

Catalogue Information


Wood, Cedar; Paint; Cloth; Skin, Sheep; Shell, Abalone; Whale Baleen

Accession Number


Physical Description

Chief's headdress with a high-relief motif that is clearly a killer whale with its tail curled upwards toward the chest, the large dorsal fin is sticking upward on top. The lateral fins are displayed on either side of the tail. Painted green, the rim of this five-sided frontlet is inlaid with abalone shells. The edge is carved and painted red. The frontlet is attached to a crown made of cloth. The sea lion whiskers on top still retain swan’s down. Green, red, pink, black.