West Coast Native Boxes

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Bentwood Boxes are made from one plank of wood that is steamed and bent at three points to form a box. The fourth corner is usually joined by wooden pegs or copper nails as is the bottom. Finally, a lid is added, which is commonly left undecorated. They are typically made from cedar (red and yellow) or spruce.
Uses for Boxes
Bentwood Boxes and other carved boxes and chests were used for storing food, ceremonial cloths, masks, and other treasures. They were also used for ancient box burials and other types of funeral ceremonies.

The Native American Indian Artists often elaborately carve and paint these boxes and sometimes inlay surfaces with pieces of shell and metal. You can view beautiful examples of this in our gallery.