107. Big Tail

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Argillite, Catlinite, Abalone shell, Mastodon Ivory

7.75 x 10 x 4″

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Argillite, Catlinite, Abalone shell, Mastodon Ivory

7.75 x 10 x 4″

Identity, tradition and legacy are combined in Christian White’s sculpture.  His art connects him to Haida Gwaii with respect and appreciation for the people, land and animals of his island home.  He pays tribute and homage to the story of ‘Big Tail’ through this argillite sculpture.

“A Shaman at Skidegate went into a trance, and he was taken by the ‘Supernatural being at whose voice Ravens sit upon the sea’. He is carrying him to his house at the bottom of the ocean. He hides Big Tail under his robe and lets him observe all the visiting Supernatural beings that are coming to a Potlatch. He is able to see all of the characteristics of each of the Supernatural beings in secret. Afterwards he is returned to his village and recounts the story. The Supernatural being at whose voice Ravens sit upon the sea, gives the people Black Whales and Sea-Otters through Big Tail. Many Supernatural beings speak through him throughout the years and provide the people with sustenance.

This sculpture shows Big Tail being carried to the land of the Supernatural beings (Sg_aanaa).

Haaw’aa, dang aa Hl kil’laagang

Kihlguulaans, Christian White”  – 2017

Christian White’s use of inlay is precise and balanced. Abalone and Catlinite inlays are used to draw our eyes to the subtleties of the forms, and Mastodon Ivory to emphasize power and tension in supernatural encounters. As well, the embellishment of Mastodon Ivory for the Killerwhale’s teeth adds dimension and a fierce expression.  Whereas, the colourful and highly-prized Abalone shell adds wealth and status to this piece.

Christian White hopes to influence the next generation of Haida artists and continues to keep his cultural heritage alive through this work.

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