convergences Screen 40 | Trophy

Detail: curious object

John Webber: detail of curious object beside seated figure.

The Ossette site also produced fragments from a smashed wooden whale-fin "saddle", a full-size replica of the dorsal section of a killer whale. This part of the animal was much esteemed, and traditionally awarded to the leader of the whale hunt. When finally reassembled, the sculpture displayed seven hundred inlaid sea otter teeth set out in the form of a thunderbird clutching a double-headed serpent in its talons. This whale-fin saddle, like the curious piece in Webber's drawing, was a trophy. It had a certain meaning at that time. It has a certain meaning now.

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