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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Crocodile headdress

Photo: Paul Macapia

Crocodile headdress

"From a water-woven land come creatures of convoluted imagination. They know where the power lies--in essences of female and reptile." (Katherine White, 1979)

Water flows through the Cross River area, which is the second largest delta system on earth. A crocodile guarding these waters can become a "familiar" for a woman, adding to her abilities and insights. Persons with unusual inclinations were often likely to attribute their actions to the persuasive force of an animal or reptile who sought them out. Women who cultivated this alliance with a familiar could use it to be helpful, or let it become destructive.

Wood, skin, basketry
29 x 38 1/2 x 8 3/4 in. (73.6 x 97.8 x 22.2 cm)
Gift of Katherine White and the Boeing Company
Provenance: [Gallerie Kramer, New York]; purchased from gallery by Katherine White, Jan. 1978
Photo: Paul Macapia
Now on view at the Seattle Art Museum


Published ReferencesSelected Works, Seattle, WA: Seattle Art Museum, 1991, p. 52

Seattle Art Museum: Bridging Cultures, London: Scala Publishers Ltd. for the Seattle Art Museum, 2007, p. 48

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.

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