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Halibut hook

Halibut hook

Halibut hook

Wood, bone, metal, fiber

H: 31.5; W: 14.5; D: 5 cm

Gift of Faith-dorian and Martin Wright, New York, to American Friends of the Israel Museum, in memory of Abraham Janoff

Accession number:

B79.0750

Arts/Americas

This elaborately carved fishhook was used to catch the large, bottom-feeding halibut. To ensure a successful hunt, the hooks were decorated with the image of a powerful predator. In this case, the hook is carved in the form of a bear, a crest commonly used by the peoples of the Northwest Coast. The Bear Clan's origins are depicted on the Kwakiutl totem pole.