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Alder Wood, Acrylic Paint
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- Additional Information
- Artist Bio
Alder Wood, Acrylic Paint
|Dimensions||7 x 4 x 3" (17.78 x 10.16 x 7.62cm)|
|Nation||Nuu-chah-nulth (Tla-o-qui-aht) Nation|
Nuu-chah-nulth (Tla-o-qui-aht) Nation
Joe David was born in the small Clayoquot village of Opitsat on the west coast of Vancouver Island, considered the territory of the Nuu-chah-nulth people. Although much of his childhood was spent in Seattle, he maintained a positive connection with his cultural heritage through his late father, Hyacinth David.
In the late 1960s, after attending art school and working as a commercial artist, David turned his attention to First Nation’s art. Following this personal decision, he met Duane Pasco, a recognized student and teacher of Northwest Coast art, and Bill Holm, the well-known Northwest Coast scholar. David began attending Holm’s classes at the University of Washington, and between 1971 and 1973 was apprenticed to Pasco. Both Pasco and Holm stimulated David to explore the style of a number of Northwest Coast traditions.
This varied background of experience has allowed David to independently, and in concert with his cousin, Ron Hamilton, rediscover and redefine not only his own Nuu-chah-nulth tradition of sculpture and design, but to also understand other variations in form distinct to other regions along British Columbia’s coastline.
Today, Joe is not only an accredited master carver, but he has been in pursuit of lecturing within North America and abroad. His artwork can be found in many private and public collections worldwide.
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“People of the Eagle” Frontlet, masterfully carved and painted by Kwakwaka’wakw artist Barry Scow, represents the Chief and his people of the Eagle clan. True to form of Barry’s fine carving, this frontlet portrays the Eagle with Sun, and commemorates Barry’s link to his Grandfather, who was a Chief, and to his heritage.
A Frontlet is a forehead mask attached to a woven headpiece, worn only by Chiefs and high-ranking individuals in order to display status. This particular frontlet carries the Eagle and Sun motif. The Eagle position belonged to the highest-ranking Chief in the village.
The Eagle lives in the sky, or Upper World, and represents status, power, peace and friendship. Eagle is the Chief of the birds, an honor he shares with the Woodpecker. The Sun is a popular Kwakwaka’wakw motif, used quite regularly in their art. The sun can represent life and creative forces as well as warmth and healing.
To further establish his high position, the Chief practiced a traditional act of discarding his wealth in front of other Chiefs. Much of this wealth was in the form of copper. To break the copper or throw it into the ocean, symbolized that he and his clan were modest of their wealth and that the value of friendship weighed more than the value of material wealth.
To assist the Chief with this historical display of modesty, a subordinate was appointed. The assistant is portrayed below the beak of the Eagle, carved in intricate detail, as one can see in the teeth and tongue of the human face. Another beautiful component of this piece are the Chief’s people, delicately cradled in the beak of the Eagle.
Other works by this artist
Red Cedar wood, Human hair, Acrylic paint
This Welcome Figure portrait mask, based on a Nuu chah nulth mask from the 1850’s, would be danced during a ceremonial welcome song which belongs to the David family of the Tla-O-Qui-Aht clan. Smoked elk hide has been rigged to the back of the piece to hold it securely in place when being danced.