Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Welcome to the Spencer Collection

halibut hook
  • unknown Haida or Tlingit maker
  • halibut hook, late 1800s–1926
  • Where object was made: District of Alaska or Alaska Territory (present-day Alaska), United States or British Columbia, Cana
  • wood, metal, string, pigment, carving, incising
  • Object Length/Width/Depth: 29.5 x 4.5 x 13 cm
    Object Length/Width/Depth: 11 5/8 x 1 3/4 x 5 1/8 in
  • Gift of George W. Reed
  • Not on display
  • 2007.5625

The large "V" shaped wooden hook has a metal barb. The carved side is decorated with a bird, identified as a cormorant. The head and neck are a peg-like extensions with a beak and eyes, the neck is decorated with incised rings. The bird is seen from behind, so the feathers are indicated with incised chevrons and vertical lines for the tail. There is a rope through the hole drilled above the bird's tail.

The other leg of the "V" is wider at the bottom, tapering to the end where the metal barb is secured with string wrapping. The point of the "V" is wrapped with string and the wider portion above is wrapped with string. It is light brown, except for the black incised lines.