history of clan crest copper shields

Traditionally, the ownership of copper symbolized wealth among the Indigenous Peoples of Southeast Alaska and still does today.  Pictured below is a hand-engraved copper Lovebirds Heart. The Lovebirds copper represents the Eagle and Raven Clan, which are our two main moieties.  Marriage between one from the Eagle Clan and one from the Raven Clan are traditionally called Lovebirds.  Favored as a wedding or anniversary gift, the Lovebirds Heart copper represents commitment and love.  When gifted to a person or group of a differing culture, the Lovebirds copper represents unity and peace.

Pictured on left is an Eagle Clan Crest copper shield.  Since the early 1800's, copper was beaten into thick sheets, shaped into shields, and hand engraved with clan crest designs by tribal artists.  Copper shields were displayed by Chiefs at potlatches and given as special gifts as a status symbol of their wealth.  

Douglas Yates hand-engraved copper shields are available for purchase in eagle, raven, killer whale, lovebirds, frog, and wolf.  Special orders are welcome.  Each copper clan crest is individually hand-engraved and framed behind glass in a size 11x14 or 16x20 wood frame, available in brown or black frame.

wolf clan crest

The wolf clan crest is symbolic of loyalty, strength, intuition, discipline, order, community, freedom, guardianship, prudence, respect, communication, patience and teamwork. 
hand-engraved coppers
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lovebirds heart copper
(eagle and raven clan crests)
by Douglas Yates 
eagle clan crest copper shields
by Douglas Yates
wolf clan crest copper 
by Douglas Yates
douglasyates southeast alaska, pacific northwest coast arts