This Salmon Cedar Hat is a collaboration between by Kwagu’ł artist Calvin Hunt and his daughter Ali Hunt. The hat, handwoven in red cedar bark by Ali Hunt, has a hand-carved and painted salmon inlaid with abalone by Calvin Hunt. Czech trade beads, abalone, flicker feathers, and red feathers complete the collaboration.
This style ceremonial hat, according to Calvin, is yet another connection with his Tlingit heritage. Traditionally the Tlingit created crest hats made of carved cedar and worn by high-ranking Chiefs. These elaborate hats (´xis´) replicate the form of the woven spruce root crest hats, though they are much heavier and can only be worn for a limited period of time. The alternative was to add carved wood crest symbols to a woven spruce root hat which is called ´saxʷ by the Tlingit and are still being created today. Calvin and Ali’s hat is a Kwagu’ł version of the Tlingit crest hat that would be worn by high-ranking people for ceremonial occasions.
The Salmon symbolizes abundance, fertility, prosperity and renewal. For thousands of years, Salmon have been the primary food source for Northwest Coast Native Americans and are highly respected.
Find more information about and examples of The Salmon Northwest Coast First Nations symbol.
The hat is about 39 cm wide and 48cm tall including the red cedar and driftwood hat stand. The hat without the stand is about 33 cm tall.