Availability: Only 1 available
“Red Sky” Finish
Only 1 available
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- Additional Information
- Artist Bio
“Red Sky” Finish
|Dimensions||1 x 6 "|
Gwaai Edenshaw (Hluugiitgaa) is an Eagle from the Ts’aalth clan. He was born in 1977 to Jenny Nelson, an author and teacher, and Guujaaw, a drummer, carver and former president of the Council for the Haida Nation.
Gwaai, as a baby, hung from a pole in Skidegate in his Jolly Jumper while his father carved. Since then, his experience in creating art has ranged from comic book drawing, to totem pole carving, to creating gold, silver and argillite jewelry.
The late Bill Reid began mentoring and training him in the traditional forms of Haida art when Gwaai was sixteen. At the age of nineteen, Gwaai worked on his first totem pole under his father, Guujaaw. It was a forty-footer, which now stands in Indonesia. Since then, he has worked on three additional poles with his father.
In 2002, Gwaai assisted Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas with his graphic novel, “A Tale of Two Shamans.” This experience nurtured a penchant for more experimental themes in Haida art.
As a graduate of Vancouver Community College, Gwaai studied Jewelry Art and Design. Casting was of particular interest to him and remains his preferred medium to this day. His works boast a refined and delicate design, complemented with Abalone shell embellishment. His miniature scale jewelry pieces are delicate and intricate, exemplifying his attention to detail.
In the last few years, Gwaai has branched out to film and co-directed on ‘Edge of the Knife’ – the first feature film to tell a story about the Haida people set in the 19th century and performed entirely in the Haida language. It premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival in September.
Gwaai is also one of the founding members of the Q’altsi’da Kaa players, who are currently engaged in their inaugural project, “Sounding Gambling Sticks,” a play to be performed entirely in the Haida language. He currently lives on Vancouver Island.
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Mastadon Ivory, Abalone Shell, Yew wood
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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.