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Three-Corner-Grass, Cedar Bark, Hand Woven
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- Additional Information
- Artist Bio
Three-Corner-Grass, Cedar Bark, Hand Woven
|Dimensions||3.5 x 2.75 x 2.75" (8.89 x 6.99 x 6.99cm)|
Dorothy Shephard was born October 5th, 1946 in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. She was born into the Nuu-cha-nulth Nation who inhabit the southern region of Vancouver Island and was previously known as Dorothy Jeffery until 2004. Dorothy takes the Killerwhale, known as a powerful and skilled underwater hunter, as her family crest symbol.
Dorothy is one of the few women from her generation to keep the art of basket weaving alive. The tradition was passed down to her from her mother, Effie Tate. Dorothy weaves three corner grass, white grass, sword grass and places cedar bark at their edges, all which are carefully hand picked from the coastline of Vancouver Island.
She began making miniature baskets at the young age of ten and has been weaving for over forty years. Each basket portrays the traditional designs of the Nuu-cha-nulth nation such as birds, whales and canoe hunting. Dorothy carefully weaves her fine baskets to reveal intricacy and the utmost quality of workmanship. Dorothy Shephard is a well established and highly respected Nuu-cha-nulth basket weaver and her work is found in various collections.
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Coiled lime grass, Thread (coloured), Serpentine stone
The process of basket-making is long and arduous as it can take up to a month to weave a large basket. Baskets are made from repeatedly coiling the grass from the bottom of the basket and building the basket up. Designs are created by stitching thread onto the basket, however some designs are actually woven in. This thread can be made from a number of materials, such as de-haired sealskin, leather, and yarn.
Plain twining & Strawberry weave patterns, Three strand twining rim
Spruce Root, Four bands of dyed root
Featured in the 2009 exhibition – Haida Masterworks: the ancestral spirit lives on
Isabel Rorick comes from a long line of weavers, including her great-grandmother Isabella Edenshaw; her grandmother, Selina Peratrovich; her mother, Primrose Adams, and her Aunt, Delores Churchill. Using the Haida language of form, Isabel incorporates many traditional designs into her baskets and hats, like that of the dragonfly, raven’s tail, and spider web or slug trail.
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.