2 1/4 x 5 1/2 x 11 3/4 in. (5.7 x 14 x 29.8 cm)
Nisga'a; made in British Columbia, Canada
Medium and Support:
Cedar, opercula (sea snail shell) inlay
Gift of Mrs. Nathaniel T. Whitcomb
Location: Currently on view
The eulachon fish, a type of smelt with a very high oil content, was dried then pressed for its oil. This oil (still used today in cooking and flavoring) was placed in a grease dish on the table, into which diners would dip dried fish and other delicacies. This dish is decorated around the rim with opercula, the highly prized ornamental part of a snail shell.
[Gallery label text, 2009]