View of north side of the Potlatch Gallery, ceremonial regalia mounted along the wall to the right of the viewer. Image shows a section of the north side of the Potlatch Gallery in which a speaker’s staff, a dzunakwa mask, four mourning masks and two copper shields are displayed. Image of a corner of the Potlatch Gallery close to the entrance View of the entrance wall at the east end of the Potlatch Gallery.

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What is a copper?

For the Kwakwaka’wakw, the copper symbolizes wealth. Each copper has its own name, history and value.

How were coppers made?

Coppers were used along the Northwest Pacific Coast. They were originally made from native copper, or placer copper, which was obtained from Alaska and the Nass River. After contact with Europeans, coppers were made from smelted copper which was considered inferior.