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Sterling silver, Engraved
Only 1 available
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- Additional Information
- Artist Bio
Sterling silver, Engraved
|Dimensions||1 x 0.5 "|
|Nation||Kwakwaka'wakw ('Namgis) Nation|
Kwakwaka’wakw (‘Namgis) Nation
Harold Alfred was born in Alert Bay, British Columbia, Canada on Cormorant Island of the ‘Namgis First Nation (the people of the Nimpkish River) and was primarily raised by his grandparents. Growing up in Alert Bay, surrounded by his culture, Harold could not help but be influenced by the designs, figures and poles used in Kwakwaka’wakw art.
At an early age, he was provided with plenty of encouragement and constructive criticism in both drawing and learning the correct implementation of design, history and legends. Later, to gain further knowledge and appreciation of the Kwagiulth art form, he studied under present day master Kwagiulth artists, such as Tony Hunt Sr., Doug Cranmer and Oscar Matilpi. Learning the basic carving techniques from wood to silversmith and three dimensional shaping, he has also studied and developed an appreciation for contemporary styles. Additionally, to further enhance his understanding of the composition principles and general art development he participated in a Fine Arts Course at Malaspina College.
In the appreciation and knowledge of Kwagiulth Art, Harold Alfred proudly designs outstanding works which display a contemporary feel while maintaining a strong sense of tradition.
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Price upon request
Sterling silver, Engraved
The Supernatural Log is more commonly referred to as Snag or Ts’Amos (Alternate spellings: Ttaamuus, Tsamaos). He is the personification of the seafaring Haidas’ obstacles while on the ocean in canoes; driftwood or deadheads. The Snag is an amorphous supernatural creature both in artwork and in legend and first appeared as a crest figure of families along the Skeena River. It is believed to have first appeared on jewelry designs by the famed Charles Edenshaw, whose father took the Snag as a crest.
A Snag can vary in appearance, much like the driftwood it imitates, but it almost always has a snag (deadhead) for a dorsal fin. It can be as simple as a dead log with a tail that can swim against the current. It can be a huge sea lion with dorsal fins and blowholes, or an enormous grizzly bear with a downturned mouth like a dogfish. It can be a hybrid of bear and Killerwhale, or raven and Killerwhale, with multiple bodies. It can be a large frog covered in seaweed with a snag sticking out of its back, and can even be a canoe or a schooner. Most visible at the change of tides, the Snag, if angered can breach and land on canoes, smashing them to bits. He also can make huge waves to capsize boats. The Snag was frequently featured as a protective figure on Bentwood Boxes that contained treasured artifacts, and is frequently depicted with Raven, its counterpart.
The Snag is a very important feature in the Haida legend of How the World Was Formed. Before there was the world as we know it, Raven was flying and flying and flying, and finally came to rest on a single rock, which was the tip of Haida Gwaii and the beginning of the world. This rock, was supported beneath (from the undersea world) by a stone house pole, which was in fact the fin of the Snag. It is therefore common to see the Raven and Snag in conjunction in Haida art. The Snag figure can be seen as an acceptance of responsibility for supporting the world, similar to the Atlas figure in Greek mythology.
It is believed the legends around the Snag was a warning for those who travelled by canoe to be more wary of their surroundings, especially at the change of the tides, and keep them alert on the water. When the tides change, deadheads and hidden logs or obstacles can suddenly appear and be a danger. As the Haida relied on trade with Mainland Nations to survive, it was pertinent for them to be adept at sea, paddling the vast distances to and from the islands to the coast.
Argillite, Catlinite, Abalone shell, Sterling silver
The Frog symbolizes luck, prosperity, stability and healing. As a communicator, Frogs connect with the world on land and under water. This figure is often carved into totem poles to prevent them from falling over.