A Kawatsi or Treasure Box with lid, carved and painted on three sides, back side is unfinished
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Treasure Box

This treasure box was owned by Sam Charlie and transferred to Alert Bay at the request of his granddaughter. It is a carved and painted bentwood storage box with eight pieces of abalone inlay on the front whale design. Only one half of the back is carved and painted.


Yekutłikalas, Sam Charlie, Mamalilikala (Village Island)


Tom Patch Wamiss

Catalogue Information


Owned by Sam Charlie 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. In 1995 Sam Charlie's daughter, Mary Beans (nee Charlie) requested her father's regalia be transferred from Nuyumbalees to U'mista for display.


Wood, Alder; Wood, Cedar; Paint; Shell, Abalone; Metal, Iron

Accession Number


Physical Description

Carved and painted bentwood-style storage box with eight pieces of abalone inlay on the front. The designs depicted are a whale on the front and abstract anthropomorphic figures on the sides. The back of the trunk is only half-completed in both carving and painting. Yellow, green, red, white, natural wood.