Description & Technical information

Hammer or pestle with the finial in the shape of the head of an animal. Being of infinite rarity, the British Columbia effigy mauls were certainly functional objects, but above all they were endowed with great prestige and power because of the difficulty in producing them. Cut from the hardest basalt, the effigy representations are clan and totem related - indicating origin and social status of the owner/user. These hammers were probably used by the artists of the Native American tribes of The Northwest Coast of Canada for the manufacture and ornamentation of great carved and ornamented works such as houses, totem-poles and large ocean-going canoes for hunting and war. 

Period:  Late Period (1500 BC until the middle of the 18th century)
Origin:  Canada, British Columbia
Medium: Basalt
Dimensions: 25 x 9 x 8.5 cm (9⁷/₈ x 3¹/₂ x 3³/₈ inches)
Literature: Two very similar stone effigy mauls in the collection of the Museum of British Columbia, Victoria B.C., the Newcomb collection, photo circa 1902. Victoria, Canada

Categories: Sculpture