Attush, Ainu Robe 6181

Hokkaido, Japan

Elm bark fiber, Cotton

19th Century

47 x 46 in/119 x 117 cm


The Ainu have an animist tradition, worshiping bears and honoring fish spirits. Their most famous aesthetic accomplishments are robes woven from chewed elm bark strips, attush, and patterned with fabulous motifs known to ward off the evil eye. This stunning example, which displays motifs that show affinities with the heraldic art of the NW Coast Indians, is of the highest quality and dates to the mid 19th Century.