Effigy of Medicine Man, North West Coast America, 1867-1900

Made:
1867-1900 in North America

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Wooden statue of a medicine man, Haida Indian, North-West American

The Haida people of North West Coast America believe shamen can cure disease, control animals and communicate with the spirit world. This wooden effigy is of a shaman or ‘medicine man’ (a Sah-gah). It was created by the Haida. He holds a small head in his right hand and its nose is pierced with animal bone. The Shaman is decorated with an animal crest. This is common in Haida artwork. It reflects the community the artwork is affiliated with. Many cultures use effigies of shamen or medicine men to invoke their power for protection or healing.

Details

Category:
Ethnography and Folk Medicine
Object Number:
A16088
Materials:
bone, paint or stain and wood
type:
statue
taxonomy:
  • visual and verbal communication
  • sculpture