Tsimshian (Northwest Coast, British Columbia)
Frontlet (Amhalayt)
ca. 1880
Painted wood, abalone shell
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

[America] well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself, beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom.

The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force. The frontlet upon her brows would no longer beam with the ineffable splendor of freedom and independence; but in its stead would soon be substituted an imperial diadem, flashing in false and tarnished lustre the murky radiance of dominion and power.

She might become the dictatress of the world: she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit.

John Quincy Adams [emphasis added]

This is the brilliance/totally depressingly prescient advice that comes right after the better known “[America] goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy” quote. I highly recommend reading the whole speech, linked above.


Kevin Daniel Cranmer

“This design was inspired by my great, great, great grandmother, Anisalaga (Mary Ebbets), my mother U'lumgelakw (Lily), and my daughter Gana'o (Elissa). The Raven perched on the tongues of the Sisiut represents the main crest brought to the Hunt family through marriage from the Tongass Tlingit of Alaska. The Sisut is the crest from my mother’s tribe, the Mamalilikala of Mimkwamlis (Village Island). It is said that the Sisiut originated from a small stream on Village Island called Ts Tsa wa yukwsilas. The central figure in the design represents my daughter Gana'o, dressed in a Chilkat blanket and wearing a Raven frontlet. The Chilkat blanket and Raven frontlet are two other privileges that came from Anisalaga. The Raven is coloured the same as the Chilkat blanket to acknowledge the skill Anisalaga had as a Chilkat blanket weaver. The design was done to honour these three, and to acknowledge two of the places that my daughter originates from. Gilakasla.”

- Kevin Daniel Cranmer