Orca Trade Bracelet

United States
$170.00
Item No. N712B-WRP
Qty:

So-called trade bracelets have been made in Seattle since the early 1900's, and sold primarily to the coastal tribes. They are often used as potlatch gifts. The early patterns tended to be narrow, with the design on the terminals. Recent designs tend to be wider, with the design centered on the wide middle of the bracelet. The Orca, or killer whale, is shown on this sterling silver bracelet designed by Bill Wilson, a Tlingit raised in Hoonah, Alaska. The bracelet is struck from the original die made in the early 1900's, part of our collection of Trade Bracelets and Rings. The Orca Trade Bracelet has a devolved length of 7½ inches and is shaped to wrap easily around your wrist. Made in USA.

So-called trade bracelets have been made in Seattle since the early 1900's, and sold primarily to the coastal tribes. They are often used as potlatch gifts. The early patterns tended to be narrow, with the design on the terminals. Recent designs tend to be wider, with the design centered on the wide middle of the bracelet. The Orca, or killer whale, is shown on this sterling silver bracelet designed by Bill Wilson, a Tlingit raised in Hoonah, Alaska. The bracelet is struck from the original die made in the early 1900's, part of our collection of Trade Bracelets and Rings. The Orca Trade Bracelet has a devolved length of 7½ inches and is shaped to wrap easily around your wrist. Made in USA.

  • Orca

    Whales, a common motif in the art of the Northwest Coast peoples, were the subject of countless stories and legends. One story held that a whale could capture a canoe and drag it and the people aboard down to an underwater Village of the Whales. These people were then transformed into whales themselves. The Haida believed that whales seen near villages were these drowned people trying to communicate with the villagers.

    A Tlingit legend tells that the first orcas (killer whales) were carved from yellow cedar and sent into the ocean with instructions to be friendly towards people. The killer whales guide the Indians towards fish and are helpful except when they are treated discourteously.

  • Trade Bracelets

    In the early 1900's Mayer Brothers, a jewelry manufacturer in Seattle, set up to produce silver bracelets to sell to the Indians along the Pacific Northwest coast, using designs from Tlingit carvers. These trade bracelets became favored items to be given away at potlaches.

    Production has continued to this day under a succession of manufacturing companies here in the Northwest, using both modern designs and the designs from the early 1900's, with rings, earrings and pendants as well as the traditional bracelets added to the line. The primary market continues to be in Alaska, and the jewelry is sold to both Indians and tourists. The Indians buy mainly the traditional designs, with the most popular bracelet still being the Lovebirds.

    We are pleased to offer a range of trade bracelets and matching rings designed by Bill Wilson, a Tlingit raised in Hoonah, Alaska. The bracelets are struck from the original dies made in the early 1900's for trade with the Indians of the Pacific Northwest. Typical of the early patterns, the bracelets are relatively narrow, with the design on the terminals. The bracelets and rings are available in sterling silver. The rings are also available in 14 kt. gold.

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