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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Button robe with shark design (Guulaangw gyaat'aad)

Button robe with shark design (Guulaangw gyaat'aad)

late 19th century

The dogfish shark is a Haida crest and appears on many art forms associated with family oral traditions like totem poles, woven hats and clothing. Using pearl buttons, abalone shell pieces and red cloth, the designer of this robe creatively depicts the head of the creature as if seen from beneath, accentuating its large eyes, downturned mouth and gill slits. The shark's body is presented splayed open, stylizing its internal anatomy, its prominent dorsal fin, pairs of pectoral fins and its powerful, asymmetrical tail.

Woolen cloth, pearl buttons, and abalone shell
67 1/2 x 54 1/4 in. (171.45 x 135.89 cm)
Gift of John H. Hauberg
Not currently on view


Published ReferencesThe Spirit Within: Northwest Coast Native Art from the John H. Hauberg Collection, Seattle Art Museum, 1995, pg. 112

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.

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