Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

halibut hook
  • Salish (Flathead) peoples
  • halibut hook, late 1800s–1926
  • Where object was made: Washington, United States or British Columbia, Canada
  • wood, metal, string, carving
  • Object Length/Width/Depth: 29 x 6 x 16 cm
    Object Length/Width/Depth: 11 3/8 x 2 3/8 x 6 1/4 in
  • Gift of George W. Reed
  • Not on display
  • 2007.5627

The large "V" shaped wooden hook has a metal barb. One leg is decorated with a stylized human face. There are two rounded lines and a vertical line below the face, possibly bent arms and a flute. The figure has a figure on top of his head, possibly a seal's head. A hole is drilled through the wood at the end of the "flute," with a short length of rope strung through. There is more carving below the rope that might be the figure's legs.

The other leg of the hook is wider at the bottom and tapers as it gets to the end where the metal barb is held in place with strings. The barb is directed into the space of the "V." Four pieces of wood are secured over the end of the hook, also with string wrapping. The joint of the "V" and the wider area just above are wrapped with string to secure the two pieces together. It is light brown.