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

Guulaangw gyaat'aad (button robe)

Photo: Paul Macapia

Guulaangw gyaat'aad (button robe)

ca. 1890

John Yeltadzi

Kaigani Haida, yahgu'laanaas Raven clan

John Yeltadzi descends from a family of artists who were originally from the Queen Charlotte Islands (now called Haida Gwaii), but moved to Alaska sometime in the late eighteenth century. The Alaskan Haida peoples are known as Kaigani Haida, the name being derived from an important village on Dall Island.

Haida artists have long demonstrated their abilities to adapt to new materials, new techniques and new markets ever since early contact with Euro-Americans. Robes fashioned from Hudson's Bay Company cloth and embellished with pearl buttons eventually replaced the older robes of cedar fiber, fur, and hide. Designed by men and fabricated by women, robes bear the clan crests that proclaim the identity and lineage of the wearer, in this case represented by a splayed orca whale.

Commercial wool cloth, pearl buttons, metal pins, cotton twine
54.5 x 70 in. (137.16 x 177.8 cm)
Gift of John H. Hauberg
Photo: Paul Macapia
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, The Box of Daylight, September 15, 1983 - January 8, 1984
Published ReferencesThe Spirit Within: Northwest Coast Native Art from the John H. Hauberg Collection, Seattle Art Museum, 1995, pg. 110

Seattle Art Museum: Bridging Cultures, London: Scala Publishers Ltd. for the Seattle Art Museum, 2007, p. 32

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