Ceremonial »button blanket« , um 1890
About the object
An industrially manufactured wool blanket, acquired from Hudson Bay Company traders, is hemmed on three sides with red cloth. There is an animal motif in the middle. It presumably represents a bear, based on the depiction of the paws, nose, wide mouth and teeth. The outlines are picked out with mother of pearl buttons sewn onto the blanket and were presumably imported from China. The red appliqué sections provide colourful accents. Button blankets were made by Haida women using imported materials. They were worn at ritual dances by high-ranking men. In a similar way to a coat of arms, they present the totem animals of respective clans. Nowadays, button blankets are once more an important part of Haida ceremonial and festive costume and are also worn by women.