Northwest Coast Nootka ‘Nuu-Chah-Nulth’ Chiefs Whale Bone Sword Club
Northwest Coast Nootka ‘Nuu-Chah-Nulth’ Chiefs Whale Bone Sword Club
Northwest Coast Nootka ‘Nuu-Chah-Nulth’ Chiefs Whale Bone Sword Club
Northwest Coast Nootka ‘Nuu-Chah-Nulth’ Chiefs Whale Bone Sword Club
Northwest Coast Nootka ‘Nuu-Chah-Nulth’ Chiefs Whale Bone Sword Club
Northwest Coast Nootka ‘Nuu-Chah-Nulth’ Chiefs Whale Bone Sword Club
Northwest Coast Nootka ‘Nuu-Chah-Nulth’ Chiefs Whale Bone Sword Club

Northwest Coast Nootka ‘Nuu-Chah-Nulth’ Chiefs Whale Bone Sword Club

1700 to 1900 North America

Offered by Finch & Co

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A Rare Northwest Coast Nootka ‘Nuu-Chah-Nulth’ Chiefs Whale Bone Sword Club the Handle Carved with a Stylised Profile of an Open Beaked Thunderbird the Blade Decorated on each Side with a Frontal View of an Abstract Figure with Oval Face a Stone Drilled Hole to One Side for a Wrist Thong
Old worn smooth untouched patina of a rich colour
An old small chip to the end of the blade
18th Century

Size: 51.5cm long, 7cm wide, 1.5cm deep - 20 ins long, 2¾ ins wide, ¾ ins deep
NOTE: Now Sold
Similar items are always of interest and required for stock
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cf: A similar club with a carved Thunderbird handle is in the University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology collected in 1778 by Captain Cook on his third voyage (No 1922.954) and another one is in the British Museum collected by Cook (NWC40) with an undecorated blade
These clubs were more than just a weapon, they were important symbols of status and the prestige of chiefs who gave the clubs ceremonial names. They were linked to the whaling traditions of high ranking families as whaling was a privilege accorded to hereditary chiefs. The shape and design of these clubs seems to have been traditionally limited to minor variations of an ancient form that goes back to 2000BC. The imagery of the thunderbird symbolises the power of the mythical world of the Nootka.
Captain Cook collected over 230 documented objects on his third voyage and over half of these originate from the Nootka. Members of the voyage commented on the whalebone sword clubs they collected and compared them to the Maori patapatoos. The ship Resolution was anchored off the West Coast of Vancouver Island from March to the end of April 1778 to undertake urgent repairs, and so they were able to visit and study the settlements in the rainforest territory around Nootka Sound over a few weeks, and many objects were traded with the people who are today known as ‘Nuu-Chah-Nulth’.
Medium
Whalebone
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