Artist: Chief Tom Patch Wamiss Returned From: Canadian Museum of Civilization, VII.E.152
Treasure boxes are of great importance to the Kwakwaka’wakw and are used for storing a family’s most valuable treasures. They are often finely carved and beautifully painted with family crests. Many myths tell stories of treasure boxes being acquired from supernatural sources.
This treasure box was owned by Sam Charlie and transferred to Alert Bay at the request of his granddaughter. It is a carved and painted bentwood storage box with eight pieces of abalone inlay on the front whale design. Only one half of the back is carved and painted.