World Cultures, North America

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Feast bowl

World Cultures

Object connections:

Collection World Cultures, North America
User collections Captain Cook's Third Voyage by NMMCollections
Gallery locationNot on display
EventsExploration: Cook's Third Voyage, 1776
Publication(s)The Encyclopedia of North American Indian Tribes

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Enlightenment: Discovering the world in the eighteenth century
Kim Sloan
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Object details:

Object ID AAA2836
Description A shallow oval wooden feast bowl, carved with a seal's head at one end and back flippers at the other, with inlaid shell spots around the rim. It is likely to have been made by the Alutiiq people, from the Cook Inlet and Kodiak Island regions of Alaska, and used for seal oil. Alutiiq life involved complex ceremony with a festival cycle in the winter. This bowl may have been used during feast celebrations to serve dishes to guests from other communities, 'Messenger Festivals'. This bowl is believed to have been collected on Captain James Cook's 3rd voyage to the Pacific, as part of trade at Nootka Sound in March 1778.
Date made Before 1778

Place made Alaska, United States of America
Credit National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London
Materials shell; wood
Measurements Overall: 80 x 350 x 190 mm
  • Feast bowl (AAA2836)
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