Bentwood Boxes

Bentwood boxes are unique to the Northwest Coast First Nations peoples of British Columbia. Bentwood boxes are used for symbolic and practical purposes. They can be used as burial boxes for ancestors, for storage of clothing and household items, for transporting goods, and even for cooking. The kerfing, or bending, form is made by selection of a thin, tight grained plank of red or yellow cedar. The wood is divided into four sections by carving a groove halfway through at the corners. The cedar plank is steamed, and then folded to form the four sides.