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The Steven Michaan Collection of North American Tribal Art : The Art of the Spirit World : Woodlands

Northeast Woodlands (Wabanaki Group)
Belt Cup
Ash Burl, 8 ½” Length, c.1780-1800

Northeast Woodlands (Wabanaki Group) Belt Cup
Northeast Woodlands (Wabanaki Group) Belt Cup

The indigenous Woodland tribes of the upper Northeast had a tradition of carving “belt cups” or later “canoe cups”. These cups were used for hunting or fishing and were attached to a sash or belt by a leather thong.

This large example (likely Micmac or Penobscot), has notched sides and its back is intricately decorated with a complex curvilinear design. This tracery is referred to as a double curve motif and is found on dress and crafts throughout the Northeastern Algonquian tribes.