CATALOG NO: 168637
OBJECT TYPE: painted bentwood box
Bentwood technology is an ingenious method used to make a variety of
wooden objects in Alaska Native cultures. The bentwood sides of this box
collected by Fisher were steamed, bent, stitched together with spruce
root and then fit into a solid wood bottom. The ends of the bentwood
piece were bevelled so as to create an almost invisible join.
Museum collections include 19th century examples of bentwood hunting
hats, bowls, buckets, ladles, trays, dishes, boxes, and the outer hoops
that characterize many of the masks from the Alutiiq and Yup'ik regions.
Based on present archaeological evidence, we know bentwood technology has
been in use among the Alutiit for at least 800 years.