Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

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bentwood box
  • Tlingit peoples
  • bentwood box, late 1800s–1926
  • Where object was made: District of Alaska or Alaska Territory (present-day Alaska), United States or British Columbia, Cana
  • cedar wood, paint
  • Object Height/Width/Depth: 70 x 56 x 50 cm
    Object Height/Width/Depth: 27 1/2 x 22 1/16 x 19 5/8 in
  • Gift of George W. Reed
  • Not on display
  • 2007.2779

The almost cube shaped box has sides that are made from a single piece of cedar, kerfed and bent, then fastened to the base with wooden pegs. Two sides are painted with a single black ovoid. The other two sides are fully decorated, but I am unsure of the animal represented.

On side one the black formline arches up slightly. There are four black inverted split U-shapes above, and two split U-shapes in red below the arched line, but between two black eyes. The lines around the eyes come down to join another formline enclosing two red inverted U-shapes. The next design element is enclosed in a large black inverted U-shape and consists of two inverted red split U-shapes, a black split U-shape with crosshatching, between two red circles and above one large red split U-shpae, with black crosshatching in each half. There is an eye in each bottom corner with a red split U-shape between.

On side two there is a large black ovoid near the top that encloses a set of double eyes over one very wide red split U-shape. The black inverted U-shape has a black hand on either side. Inside the U-shape are two black inverted U-shapes with crosshatching. Two red circles with a crosshatched U-shape between them sit over two black split U-shapes with crosshatching. There are large black eyes in each bottom corner on an arch. There are two red split U-shapes with crosshatching under the arch and each are within a black U-shape.