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, pigment?, string, metal, carving
  • Object Length/Width/Depth: 28 x 4.5 x 13.5 cm
    Object Length/Width/Depth: 11 x 1 3/4 x 5 5/16 in
  • Gift of George W. Reed
  • Not on display
  • 2007.5622

The large "V" shaped wooden hook has a metal barb. One side of the "V" is a carved bird, possibly an owl. The head at the top end is squarish with a beak, the body of the bird is covered with carved squares, each with a black dot, probably stylized feathers. There is another head below the bird's body, possibly a seal's head. There is a very short length of rope made from strings through a hole just above the sea'ls head.

The bottom of the "V" is tapered to a point and wrapped with string. It is also wrapped with string in the wider area above the point. The other side of the "V" is wider at the bottom and tapers to the end, where a spike-like metal barb is held in place with string wrapping. The barb is directed into the space of the "V." It is light brown.