Northwest Coast

  • Looking at Totem Poles

    Hilary Stewart


    Looking at Totem Poles is an indispensable guide to 110 poles which exist in outdoor locations in coastal British Columbia and Alaska. Hilary Stewart provides an account to the various poles types, their function and symbolism and how they were raised.

    Published in 1993


  • Looking at Indian Art of the Northwest Coast

    Hilary Stewart


    This indispensable and beautifully illustrated book is the first to introduce everyone, from the casual observer to the serious collector of Northwest Coast prints, to the forms, cultural background and structures of this highly imaginative art.

    Published in 1992


  • Cedar

    Hilary Stewart


    Hilary Stewart explains through her vivid descriptions, 550 drawings and 50 photographs, the tools and techniques used, as well as the superbly crafted objects and their uses in the context of daily and ceremonial life. Anecdotes, oral history and the accounts of early explorers, traders, missionaries and native elders highlight the text.

    Published in 1995


  • Understanding Northwest Coast Art

    Cheryl Shearer


    This easily read book introduces the reader to various symbols, crests and beings depicted in Northwest Coast artworks. Shearer provides brief descriptions of design conventions, elements and differences between cultural groups while explaining the interconnections between art, myth and ceremony.

    Published in 2000


  • Bill Reid and Beyond: Expanding on Modern Native Art

    Karen Dufffek and Charlotte Townsend-Gault


    Academically charged, this book offers a wide-ranging and thought-provoking collection of art and cultural scholars reappraisals regarding Bill Reid’s career and compelling artwork. Aware of political, economic and social events, this book examines and adds to the ongoing debate about aboriginality and modern art.

    Published in 2005


  • Eagle Frontlet

    Charles Peter Heit


    Birch wood, Abalone, Ivory

    For more details on shipping Ivory outside of Canada, please click here and then click open the Shipping section and scroll down to read more on Shipping Restrictions.

    A frontlet is a forehead mask attached to a woven headpiece.  It is worn by chiefs and high-ranking individuals as a display of crests and status.  Frontlets are often decorated with materials that are symbols of wealth and power: abalone shell, operculum shell, sea lion whiskers, feathers and/or ermine pelts.

    The intelligent Eagle symbolizes status, power, peace and friendship.

  • Raven Ladle

    Russell Smith


    Ivory, Abalone, Sterling silver, engraved

    For more details on shipping Ivory outside of Canada, please click here and then click open the Shipping section and scroll down to read more on Shipping Restrictions.

    Spoons and ladles were traditionally made from either cedar wood or the horn of a mountain sheep, and their handles were carved with family crest images. Historically, these exquisitely sculptured objects were primarily created by people in Northern Nations, and were highly sought after by other nations. During potlatches [festive gatherings], cedar ladles decorated with the hosting family’s crests were used to serve food, while the elaborately carved mountain sheep spoons were distributed as gifts among the many guests.

    Today, spoon and ladle productions are based on these traditional objects and are meant to be both objects of function and display. In addition to traditional mediums such as cedar wood, goat or mountain sheep horn, many modern-day spoons and ladles are constructed of gold, silver and pewter.

  • Eagle Amulet

    Jesse Brillon

    Price upon request

    20K Gold, Abalone; Repousse, Chased

    2.5 x 2 x 1″ (including bale)

    Jesse Brillon’s Eagle Amulet is cast in 20K gold and ornately inlayed with exquisite blue, green and purple hued abalone shells. This amulet illuminates ancient mythology and tradition. This contemporized work provides a visual reference to one of the most notable beings in First Nations art and culture: the Eagle.

    Steeped in tradition, this masterfully carved work provides depth, grace and stature beyond the presented image. Jesse Brillon’s Eagle Pendant pays homage to the tradition of nature and the interconnection between all living creatures.

  • Dogfish Berry Basket

    Merle Andersen


    Cedar Bark, Acrylic paint

    Painted by Alfred Adams

    Merle is a Haida Weaver and Regalia artist from Haida Gwaai, BC, Canada. San’laa gudgaang is her Haida name and Yaguu’janaas is the name of her affiliated clan. She uses Cedar Bark, Spruce Root, and Sewn Regalia as her mediums. Merle’s grandmother, Isabella Edenshaw, and mother, Florence Davidson, were both weavers, while her grandfather, Charles Edenshaw, was a master carver, and her father, Robert Davidson Sr., was a carver in his own right. Merle received her traditional training under her mother and two of her sisters, as well as under Haida weavers April and Holly Churchill.

  • Beaver & Eagle Fish Bowl

    Derek J. White


    Sterling Silver; Repousse, Engraved

    Derek White’s extraordinary Beaver & Eagle Fish Bowl, created in the traditional Haida form and utilizing the ancient technique of repousse to add dimension, demonstrates his articulate master carving and artistry skills. Containers such as bowls were traditionally created out of Cedar or Alder wood and utilized in daily life. The chosen medium of silver serves as a contemporary progression of this ancient art form while illustrating the intricate foundational links which combine cultural heritage with the arts.

  • Quwut Sun



    Serigraph, Edition of 100



    (For inquiries on custom framing, please contact the gallery)

    “This contemporary Coast Salish sun design is an attempt to mediate between the Hul’qumi’num language (the language of the Cowichan Tribes) and English. There have been various anglecized spellings of this Hul’qumi’num toponym (place name), such as “Cowichan,” “Khowutzun,” and the currently accepted “Quwutsun.” This Hul’qumi’num term has been simplified and misinterpreted as meaning “The Warm Land,” when it should be more correctly interpreted as meaning “warmed by the sun,” or “basking in the sun with your back turned to the sun.”

    The four eclipsed suns surrounding the central sun symbolize the darkness of ignorance blocking Daylight, a powerful source of truth.”


  • Welcome Figure Mask

    Joe David


    Red Cedar wood, Human hair, Acrylic paint

    This Welcome Figure portrait mask, based on a Nuu chah nulth mask from the 1850’s, would be danced during a ceremonial welcome song which belongs to the David family of the Tla-O-Qui-Aht clan. Smoked elk hide has been rigged to the back of the piece to hold it securely in place when being danced.

  • Orca

    Chester (Chaz) Patrick


    Exclusive to Coastal Peoples Fine Arts Gallery

    Glass; Etched and sandblasted (Glass thickness 12mm)

    Maple wood base

    Every Household and every clan possessed its own history and traditions in the form of myths and legends. Often describing how an individual had met a supernatural being, in animal form, who had given ownership of certain privileges. These privileges are a highly important part of First Nations life and are retained by particular family groups through their laws of inheritance. Privileges gave an individual status in the community and were more highly valued than any material possession.

    In reality there were rights, such as the right to use a figure on a house post, wear a mask or to perform a dance at a ceremony. Very typical of these legends was the tale of Natcitlaneh, who was abandoned on an island by his brothers-in-law, who were jealous of his prowess as a hunter. He was rescued by the sea lions and taken to their village in a cave, where in gratitude for his healing their Chief, gave him supernatural powers which enabled him to carve eight wooden Killerwhales. These came to life when they were placed in the sea and avenged him by killing his brothers-in-law. As a mark of respect, Natcitlaneh built a house and named it Killerwhale House. According to legend the ancestors visited the house, located at the bottom of the ocean and obtained the right to use the Killerwhale as a crest. The Killerwhale was said to have originated from a single great white wolf that leaped into the sea and transformed itself into a Killerwhale, or Orca. That is why they have the white markings on their sides, travel in packs and are such skilled hunters. The Orca is considered to be the ocean manifestation of the wolf and the two animals are considered to be directly related.

    Another beautiful legend tells that long ago Orca was one color, black and she lived in the water like all fish. Then she fell in love with Osprey and he with her. The Orca wanted to know so badly what it felt like to fly so she leapt farther and farther out of the water to be close to her love and Osprey spent more and more time close to the water to be near his love. Love has a way of making itself shown and expressed, and when their child was born, she was black like Orca, but with a white belly and head like the Osprey. The Orca has a song so beautiful that all creation is said to stop and listen to the Orca and that to be splashed by the Orca is to ensure great luck and happiness.

    Chaz’s beautifully sculptured glass Killerwhales pay tribute to First Nation culture, oral history and traditions. These are testament to an ideology in which we are all interconnected and part of the greater whole- each related and affecting the other.

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