Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Sea Bear Crest hat ( Xuu.ujee Dajangee)

Sea Bear Crest hat ( Xuu.ujee Dajangee)

ca. 1870

Indigenous People of Haida Gwaii built their villages of sturdy cedar longhouses at strategic sites facing the sea. Oral histories tell of origins from the primordial waters surrounding their islands. Part bear and part whale, this creature—strengthened by its connection to both land and sea—appears to be surfacing from the water, dorsal fin slicing the waves. Atop a steep continental shelf that results in a constant upwelling of waters, the Haida Gwaii islands are home to many unique underwater species—the subjects of orally conveyed legends, songs, and masks.
Red cedar and paint
10 1/2 x 15 3/4 in. (26.67 x 40cm)
Gift of John H. Hauberg
Provenance: Mark Tobey, until 1957; John H. Hauberg, Seattle, Washington, 1957-1983; Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryBellingham, Washington, Whatcom Museum of History and Art, Arts of A Vanished Era, June 12 - Oct. 31, 1968.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Our Blue Planet: Global Visions of Water, Mar. 18 - May 30, 2022.

Published ReferencesThe Spirit Within: Northwest Coast Native Art from the John H. Hauberg Collection, Seattle Art Museum, 1995, pg. 108; Whatcom Museum of History and Art, Arts of a Vanished Era, Bellingham, Washington, p.35, 1968.

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

Learn more about Equity at SAM