One of the earliest trade items between Europeans and the Pacific
Northwest Indians was the copper sheathing used on the ships to protect the wooden hulls
from fouling and teredos. Extra sheathing was carried for repairs, and this
sheet copper proved a popular trade item. Prior to this the Indians had used
native copper, when they could find it, but the sheet copper enabled them to
make bracelets in greater numbers, and the large shield-like plaques called “Coppers” that
were symbols of wealth. As part of our interest in the tradition and history
of the Northwest Coast Indian art, we are pleased to offer a selection of copper jewelry.