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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Bird Image

Bird Image

19th century

This bird appears in the rare form of mouth sculpture, which appears in a performance described like this: “Each dancer wears a feather headdress and carries a bird’s beak in his mouth. These represent the birds (kania) that sit on logs and reefs in the sea and look at sharks. The dancers kneel in their places, with hands clasped behind their backs to sway in unison, which is a dramatization of the birds sitting on the reef or in trees.”
Wood with polychrome shell, glass beads, and inlaid sea snail shells
8 1/2 x 2 in. (21.59 x 5.08 cm)
L.: 20 in.
Overall h.: 13 1/2 in.
Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection
Now on view at the Seattle Art Museum


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, The Untold Story, Nov. 14, 2003 - Nov. 14, 2004.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Pacific Species, Dec. 12, 2022 - ongoing.

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