M0003731: Cherokee scarification instrument

28 November 1933
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M0003731: Cherokee scarification instrument. In copyright. Source: Wellcome Collection.

About this work

Also known as

Previous title, replaced May 2020: The scarifacation instruments, Indigenous American


A reproduction of an illustration showing a scarifacation instrument from the Cherokee tribe called a K'anvga (as known as Kanuga). The instrument, often with seven points, is made of wood and bone splinters, usually turkey, and was used for blood-letting for medicinal purposes. Cherokee people believe that the blood-letting practice is a highly elaborated rite and the process involves specialists that perform the operation and recite ceremonial prayers as well.


28 November 1933

Physical description

1 photograph glass plate negative; 8 x 11 cm


Catalogue data comes from a combination of entries in the original glass plate registers, metadata created when the glass plates were digitised in the early 2000s and enhancements made by the cataloguer in 2021.

Terms of use

Please consult the digitised version as this item is fragile. Email library@wellcomecollection.org to request access to the physical item.

Where to find it

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