Western Tanager Bird Pin

Western Tanager Bird Pin

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This carving of a western tanager is a bright bird created by Sadao Oka. It is a delicately made bird carved from old wood with minimal tools. While Mr. Oka was forced to stay in an incarceration camp he spent the majority of his free time mastering the art of carving birds out of wood. This bird has small legs made out of wire, wrapped in thread, and its realism comes from the pictures in the Audubon identification cards and other books that Mr. Oka used as a reference. The details on this bird is mostly from paint, he used different colors to suggest detailed feathers along with the facial features of the bird.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
wire (overall material)
metal (overall material)
brown (overall color)
gold (overall color)
orange (overall color)
yellow (overall color)
red (overall color)
painted (overall production method/technique)
overall: 1 in x 2 in x 1/2 in; 2.54 cm x 5.08 cm x 1.27 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Jane Oka
See more items in
Political and Military History: Armed Forces History, Japanese American
Executive Order 9066
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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