The Archaeology and Ethnology of Wedges on the Northwest Coast

2018. By Grant Keddie Introduction Wooden and antler wedges are a common tool found in the Northwest Coast cultural area of North America. The purpose of this article is to drive a wedge into our current thinking about wedges and to stimulate further research by making some observations based on Royal B.C. Museum archaeological and ethnological artifacts. I combine this view of collections with my own background experience in working with wedges. Wedges are commonly known to have been used for splitting fire wood, for the manufacture of posts and planks used in house construction, household items such as boxes and bowls, and for the whole process of canoe making from cutting down trees to splitting the tree trunks and … Continue reading “The Archaeology and Ethnology of Wedges on the Northwest Coast”

Labrets in the Collection of the Royal B.C. Museum

2007. By Grant Keddie Introduction In my publication: “The Use and Distribution of Labrets on the North Pacific Rim” (Syesis 14:59-80, 1981), and paper: “Symbolism and Context: The World History of the Labret and Cultural Diffusion on the Pacific Rim” (Keddie 1989 – this web site), I presented an overview of the geography, timing, gender relations and symbolism pertaining to labrets or lip plugs. I have argued that Labrets are artifacts of significant importance in the interpretation of past human behaviour. As highly visual body adornment, labrets provide evidence of relationships between and among people. Labrets have taken on complex symbolic meanings beyond the obvious indicators of group membership, age, gender and class identity. Once they become established in a … Continue reading “Labrets in the Collection of the Royal B.C. Museum”