carved argilite pipe, showing intricate detail of a sea serpent and other animal like figures

There are over 800 objects from the Americas, including nearly 600 from Central and South America, of which the 50-plus objects collected by William Fosterjohn, from the Lengua people of Paraguay in about 1900, are of major importance.

Canadian Northwest Coast collection

Of particular interest is the Museum’s Northwest Coast collection, which consists of 13 objects in total, including 10 argillite carvings, a model wooden totem pole, and two carved horn spoons. These objects arrived at the museum from six different individuals between 1899 and 1930, although many of the argillite pieces date from the mid-1800s.

Argillite carvings were made exclusively by Haida carvers from Haida Gwaii to sell to visiting tourists in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Argillite carving continues to this day and forms an important part of Haida artistic and cultural continuity.

Canadian Northwest Coast Collection (pdf)

Emma Knight, an MA student from University of Toronto, completed a report on the collection during the summer of 2012 whilst on a three month student placement.

PCMAG Northwest Coast Collection Research Report (pdf)