Headdresses worn by chiefs included carved frontlets and painted hats. The item of chiefly regalia that had the most prestige and recognition among the northern tribes was the frontlet, a carved wooden plaque worn on the forehead. The frontlet plaque was carved of yellow cedar, birch or maple, in bas-relief, affixed to a cap that was edged with stiff sea lion whiskers and that had a train of ermineskin. This headdress appears to have originated with the Nisga'a and been adopted into the chiefly regalia of other tribes. The train of densely packed ermineskins may be conceptually linked to Konankada, who is sometimes depicted as a painted housefront surrounded by white clouds or flocks of seagulls that signal the beginning of eulachon runs on the Nass River. The Whale tail of Konankada is always attached to the back of this type of headdress.
date created: november 30, 1998 | Last Updated: April 1, 2010