Sunday, February 5, 2017


soul 4 front

Many of the Shamans tools were made out of bone, such as soul catchers, amulets, pendants and head dresses, called a “Shaman`s Crown”.

A Soulcatcher (Haboolm Ksinaalgat, ‘keeper of breath’) is an amulet (Aatxasxw) used by the shaman (Halayt) of the Pacific Northwest Coast of British Columbia and Alaska . It is believed that all soulcatchers were constructed by the Tsimshian tribe, and traded to the other tribes.

Soulcatchers were constructed of a tube of bear femur , incised on one or both sides, and often ornamented with abalone shell. Bears had powerful shamanic connotations among the people of the Northwest Coast.

Soulcatchers were decorated with a wolf, land-otter or bear head at both ends of the tube, and an anthropomorphic face in the middle. This form may have represented the ability to shift shapes, or the mythological land-otter canoe, implying the ability to travel between the three realms: air/god realm, earth/human/animal realm , and water/spirit realm. The land-otter was the source of all shamanic power.

A shaman`s helper spirit may have resided in the central head.

The soulcatcher was plugged at both ends with shredded cedar bark, to contain the lost soul, or to hold a malevolent spirit “sucked out” of a patient. The amulet was usually worn as a necklace . Soulcatchers ranged in length from 16 cm to 21.6 cm (6​58” to 8​12“).

Sickness incurable by secular (herbal) means was believed to be caused by “soul loss” through:

  • Dreaming, which was thought to be the soul leaving the body and traveling to the spirit world. If the soul was unable to return to the body by morning (due to disorientation or supernatural interference), chronic illness would follow.
  • Being frightened out of the body
  • Being enticed out by witchcraft

To cure the patient, the shaman would wear the soulcatcher as a necklace. He would then travel to the spirit world by calling helper spirits using trance music, employing helper-spirit masks, and magical implements such as staffs. Shaman might also work in groups, constructing a representation of a shaman’s Land-Otter canoe and spirit boards, as a vehicle to travel to the spirit world. Once the errant soul was located, the shaman would “suck” the soul into the soulcatcher, and return to the patient. The soul would then be “blown” back into the patient.

Another use of the soulcatcher was to suck malevolent spirits out of a patient.

The bone work is carved and inlaid with abalone shell. The objects are made from natural bone from many animals including mammoths, or from antler, or teeth. These are made out of beef bone and abalone shell

* No walrus or elephant ivory is used.


Soul catcher & cedar box, the soul catcher is made out of beef bone from Argentina, as the animals roam free and are not feed with steroids or antibiotics. The bone mass is more firm and better for carving.

Many soul catchers were made by my nation the ” Tsimshian”, and traded all along the coast.

* No walrus or elephant ivory is used.

Another commission that was replicated from a photo from a book, which states that this was from the ” Tsimshian nation” , made out of beef bone, and abalone shell inlays.






Soulcatcher, used by the shaman of the northwest coast to retrieve a lost soul, or to draw out sickness or disease from a ill person´s body.  The ends were closed with cedar bark plugs. Made out of beef bone and abalone shell.

* No walrus or elephant ivory is used.




Eagle Dagger,36 cm, out of elk horn, abalone shell inlays, 23 cm steel blade, complete with leather case, ready to wear. One of a kind carved, this piece was bought but do have other blades and horn to make any type of animal.

* No walrus or elephant ivory is used.



Raven war club, 46 cm, out of elk antler, inlaid with abalone shell inlays very beautiful rock from Italy,Tiger eye, is set in and top of with a ravens head with abalone eyes, behind the head sits a set of flicker feathers. Can make any design.

* No walrus or elephant ivory is used.

moose antler caved handle, solingen blade, yew case. Inlayed with abalone shell.

private commission, pm or email for more info. Click on photo to enlarge picture.

* No walrus or elephant ivory is used.






Tsimshian grizzly bear war club, out of elk horn, with a berg crystal, a mountain stone from Switzerland. Inlay with abalone shells, and a carved bear head out of yellow cedar representing a Grizzly bear.
There are 3 blue jay and 2 red flicker feathers attached, with 2 small blue russian beads. Leather hand grip and wooden base with leatherband. Comes complete with a leather carry attachment.

46 cm long and the berg crystal stands out 14 cm, diameter is 4 cm.  I can make any type animal & add stones.

* No walrus or elephant ivory is used.





Orca with Gunar riding, amulet, mostly these were carved and made for shaman, who used them attached to their regalia, along with other pieces.

Deer horn,abalone shell inlays.

* No walrus or elephant ivory is used.





Bone amulet, with 2 spirit helpers, and one is devouring or capturing a soul, so the shaman can bring it back and heal + strengthen it, so it can be replaced back into the sick person.

Beef bone, abalone shell

* No walrus or elephant ivory is used.






Fossil bone amulet.
A shaman´s pieces used to hold his/hers spirit helper, was attached to a apron or a necklace.

Fossil mammoth bone, abalone shell

* No walrus or elephant ivory is used.



posted by Ed.E. Bryant at 4:13 pm  

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