Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

halibut hook
  • unknown Northwest Coast maker
  • halibut hook, late 1800s–early 1900s
  • Where object was made: United States or British Columbia, Canada
  • wood, pigment, plant fiber, cedar bark, bone, carving
  • Object Length/Width/Depth: 24 x 5.5 x 13 cm
    Object Length/Width/Depth: 9 7/16 x 2 1/8 x 5 1/8 in
  • Source unknown
  • Not on display
  • 2007.5621

The "V" shaped hook has a bone barb. One side of the "V" is carved with a human face, with red eyes, black eyebrows, red lips and black teeth. Two upright shapes below the face may be stylized forearms. The top half of each shape has red and black vertical lines, the bottom half has horizontal lines. There is a short length of twisted cedar bark rope through a hole just below the "arms." The bottom of that side of the "V" is undecorated.

The bottom of each side of the "V" is pointed, and the two pieces are secured together with strips of plant fiber at the point and at the wider area above the point. The undecorated side of the "V" is slightly curved and tapers from the wide base. The bone barb is held in place with plant fiber wrapping. The barb is directed toward the inner part of the "V."

It is a light natural color, except for the painted detail.