A Tłakwamut, painted black etched face design rough edges and irregular shape
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Kwaxalanukwame’, Johnny Drabble, Dzawada’enuxw (Kingcome Inlet)

Catalogue Information


Owned by Johnny Drabble until its forced surrender to Indian Agent William Halliday on March 25, 1922. Halliday later displayed and photographed the seized pieces at the Parish Hall in Alert Bay. After doing an inventory, he crated the items in June, and at the end of September he shipped them to Edward Sapir at the National Museum of Man (now the Canadian Museum of History). They remained the property of the NMM until their repatriation by the U’mista and Nuyumbalees Cultural Societies in 1979. Later, the National Museum of Man hired George Hunt to record the history of the 20 coppers taken from Alert Bay. His account of this copper can be seen in the Winter 95 / Spring 96 issue of U'mista News.


Metal, Copper; Paint


54.5 cm x 23.0 cm

Accession Number


Physical Description

T´łakwamut - This broken copper’s original owner was Johnny Drabble from the Dzawada’enuxw. It is likely that this copper’s name is K´wa’ma meaning bullhead fish. By looking at the design that has not been cut away by the “copper breaking”, there is a mouth with rounded teeth and a fish-like cheek following it. Attached under the side of the mouth are U-shaped designs facing upwards which could represent fish scales. Made of copper sheets riveted together, the copper is painted black with traces of graphite paint over the black that seems to have been done later. The face design is etched and seems to be part of the original design of the copper. Based on what is left after the breaking of this copper, there is a defined “T” and it appears the copper would have had an elegant shape.