About this object

History of use

Along the Northwest Coast, in general, undecorated spoons of wood and horn were used in everyday life, while more elaborately carved versions were used on special occassions. Horn spoons were often passed down in families as heirlooms, such spoons are generally darker in colour than those of recent manufacture. Bill Holm (1987) reports that cow horn began to be used at the turn of the century (circa 1900). The bowls of these spoons are too large to place in the mouth, so food is sipped from the sides or the end.

Cultural context

household utensil; domestic

Specific techniques

Niblack notes that: "The bowl [of the horn spoon] comes from the largest part; the handle runs the full length to the tip, and afterwards is straightened out by steaming in a wooden mould made in two pieces, and scored out inside to the required shape (1970:318)."

Physical description

Spoon carved from one piece of horn with a leaf-shaped bowl and long narrow handle with a squared end. A hole has been bored into the handle near the tip. The spoon is an opaque amber colour with dark brown striations.