Curiosity of the Day: A Native American bag made from a pelican head

Today´s Curiosity of the Day is a very remarkable bag made from a pelican head. It is on display in the exhibition about First Nations in the Canadian Museum of History, Ottawa. Sadly the only available information was that it dates to around 1900 and was made by members of the T´suu T´ina (also known as Sarcee).

T´suu T’ina pelican head bag, Canadian Museum of History, Ottawa. Photo by Markus Bühler

The head belongs to an American white pelican (Pelecanus erythrorhynchos). The skin of the head which is of yellow color was also coloured with ochre after it was tanned.

I have no idea what function this truely unusual container had, if it was just a singular curiosity or a more common thing to make bags from pelican heads for some special purpose. But in anyway it´s a fascinating object which I could not resist to share.

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