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- Additional Information
- Artist Bio
|Dimensions||3.5 x 2 x 3"|
|Artist||Greg White Lightbown|
Greg White Lightbown was born in 1953 in Masset, Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia, also known as Haida Gwaii. It is one of the northern most nations and is considered to be one of the primary inhabitants of Canada’s western coastline.
His great grandfather is Charles Edenshaw (1839-1920), a chief of thee StA’stas Eagle clan and who was considered the most influential Haida artist of his time. One of Charles’ granddaughters Lavine White, the daughter of Emily Edenshaw and Henry White, is mother to Greg.
Greg became involved in carving argillite in the late 1960s at a time when it was readily available and was highly collected and traded. He focused on this medium, in keeping with the traditional Haida form, in order to preserve the skilled craft. Greg is known for his unique depictions reflecting a slice of Haida culture. His attention to detail and fluid form lines are prevalent in each argillite sculpture he creates.
Greg has lived in Masset all of his life and currently resides there with his family. His inspiration and creativity is active while being surrounded by his ancestry. He is one of the many artists of the 20th century who are concentrating on preserving their heritage and artistry for future generations.
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Elk hide, Sinew, Acrylic paint
The drum is considered one of the main percussive instruments, along with the rattle, which was used in traditional Northwest Coast ceremonies and cultural events. Its beat provides the basis from which dances, songs and oral histories are performed during a Potlatch.
The Thunderbird is a supernatural, mythical creature that lives high in the mountains and feeds on Killerwhale. It’s been aptly named for the thunder that rolls off its wings and lightening comes from its eyes when it flies.
Price upon request
This piece opens to reveal an inner box with relief engraving that echos the outer lid.
Traditionally, boxes were considered prized possessions and customarily used to store wealth or special ceremonial objects such as masks, rattles, clothing and adornments. People often gave names to these beautiful ornate boxes, told stories about their histories and treated them as family heirlooms. However, non-decorated boxes acted as instruments of life – from storing less precious articles, to food and later used for mortuary purposes. In Haida mythology, a stack of boxes contained the essence from which Raven created the world.
Eagle, Dogfish, Beaver and Frog Box retains its traditional elements through conception and imagery. Derek exhibits his mastery in his precision of line and perfect symmetry of the formline of this treasure. The gently angled lid with Abalone inlay, as well as the engraved and incised elements on the box is suggestive of the prototypic bent cornered wooden boxes and chests.
The box contains not only depictions of four important crest animals, but connects to past traditions in which a box held more than the material object, it also linked people to their heritage, lineage and each other.
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Other works by this artist
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.
According to the oral traditions of the Northwest Coast, there was once a man named Gunarh whose beautiful wife was kidnapped by a Killerwhale. He took her to the underwater village of the powerful Killerwhale People, and planned to wed her as soon as he could create a dorsal fin and attach it to her back. However, Gunarh was determined to rescue his beloved. He undertook a series of perilous tasks, going so far as to ride on the back of a mighty Killerwhale to reach the village in the depths of the sea. There, Gunarh successfully extracted his wife from the Chief Killerwhale’s longhouse, rescuing his love and returning with her to their own earthly village.
This is a common myth amongst the Haida people but there are many versions of this legend base on the Nation which is telling the story. In some versions, Gunarh is instead called Nanasimget.