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Female Figure, ca. 1825 Haida, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia or Southeastern Alaska Argillite, ivory In the first half of the 19th century Haida carvers began to use carbonaceous shale known as argillite to make an array of artworks such as these for the budding tourist market. These carvings enabled Haida to trade with visiting Europeans in response to tourists seeking souvenirs. Argillite carvings often contain imagery that encompasses both Haida and European cultures. The slate is naturally grey but after finishing the carving the artist rubbed his fingers over the carving and natural oils and sweat created the darkened and highly polished surface.
depth 2 in ; height 6.25 in ; width 2.25 in