Monday, August 30, 2010

Cherry Burl Ladle

This original Indian ladle was found at an antique mall near Kansas City a few years ago by an old friend of mine. I have been attempting to identify it's tribal affiliations based upon it's unique abstract design.

At this time, I have found no other ladle by searching on-line museum collections that share with this ladle a similar Janus head effigy. Perhaps this design is singularly unique? I would welcome any comments or leads.

As is so often the case with Native American artifacts, this ladle has become lost from it's history. This leaves me with no other option than to attempt to identify it's origins by like comparison. I start the process by asking myself what I do know as fact and what I suppose.

First consideration is it's size; Length:32.5cm ~ Width:14.5cm. This is not an uncommon size and is close to the average based upon the hundreds of museum examples. It is my understanding that many Woodland tribes ate directly from ladles as apposed to eating from bowls. While this ladle was possibly a serving ladle, it might also have been a personal eating ladle. I would be very interested in learning the exact customs associated with the native use of eating from a ladle, knowing this I believe would open my eyes to understand more about these objects.
The species of wood is wild cherry burl. This is very rare as very few objects were made from cherry burl due to it's propensity to have many bark inclusions.

I will resume discussion of this at a later time...I'm running late!

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