Abalone Shell Bowl
The smoothest wood these fingers have ever touched, this operculum and alder bowl by master artist Joe David (Nuu-chah-nulth) is a tactile delight.
The bowl also tells the story of how tribal peoples traded for materials on the West Coast. The shape of the bowl is an abalone shell. Abalone grows in warmer waters, and Northwest carvers prized it for its beautiful blue and purple coloring to inlay into sculptures. They would trade a local Northwest shell–operculum–to Northern California tribes in exchange for abalone.
Inlaid with operculum, and carved in the shape of an abalone shell, this bowl is like the Tale of Two Shells.