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Glass, Red Cedar wood, Acrylic paint
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.
Salmon are honoured and celebrated by all coastal peoples: the fish serves as a powerful symbol of regeneration, self-sacrifice, and perseverance.
Shortages of salmon are traditionally attributed to human disrespect and refusal to listen to and live by the wisdom of elders. The Pacific Northwest Coast peoples believed that salmon were actually people with eternal life who lived in a large house far under the ocean. In spring, they put on their salmon disguises and offered themselves to humans as food.
The Nations believed that when entire fish skeletons were returned to the sea, the spirits would rise again and change into salmon people. In this way, the cycle could begin again the following year.
Chaz’s beautifully etched glass Salmon Panel pays 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 to and affecting one another.
Only 1 available