dłidłam (Interior House Post)

About this object

History of use

Such posts and beams served as structural supports inside large dwelling houses. Figures represented on house posts were often supernatural beings which the family living in the house had the right, through their history and origins, to display as a family privilege.


According to Mrs. Chief Johnson of Fort Rupert, these house posts were erected for a house that was never finished (Helen Codere's field notes, May 1955). They stood in the village for about six decades before they were purchased for museum display.

Cultural context


Physical description

Two upright posts and crossbeam that were part of a large interior house frame. The uprights depict sea lions carved in high relief and painted (parts a-b). Their heads are almost equal size to their bodies with a large protruding snout and bared teeth. The sides have the front and black flippers; back has a repeating circular design depicting the spine. Part a has a human(?) painted in profile within the sea lions front flippers. The crossbeam (part c) is undecorated. Parts a-b are painted black, green, white and red with Northwest Coast stylized forms.