The Coast Salish Kingfisher Dancer
The Coast Salish people were occupants of the coastal areas from
the Strait of Georgia in British Columbia, Canada, to Campbell River
in the north on Vancouver Island, to the State of Washington in
Along with their more northern neighbours such as the Haida, the
Coast Salish developed a complex, sophisticated society based on
trade, elaborate art and architecture. Engraving, sculpture, dance,
storytelling, music and oratory were used in all religious and ceremonial
practices. As a result, they present a time-honoured culture that
is very complex in social organization and very rich in artistic
The Coast Salish traditional way of life displays a fine and fulfilling
balance between men, women, and the natural and supernatural worlds.
The Coast Salish Kingfisher Dancer is featured as a Spirit Guide,
which makes a brief appearance in the modern day ceremonial potlatches.
The Kingfisher is often depicted with its favorite meal, some type
of fish or salmon.
The Kingfisher Dancer was modeled from a live model and cast in
fine quality, hand tinted porcelain by artist Leasa Robson. The
dancer features hand sculptured and painted facial features, glass
eyes and natural hair. The Kingfisher headdress is carved out of
yellow cedar and modeled after an authentic Coast Salish Kingfisher
mask by Coast Salish carver Marvin Thomas. The original mask is
used today during modern day ceremonial potlatches. The dancer also
features a Salmon Tail Paddle carved out of Yellow Cedar. This paddle
has been hand painted in the traditional red and black colors. The
dancer is adorned with an authentic button blanket dancer¹s
regalia designed by Coast Salish artist Kristina Britnell. The regalia
displays the contemporary Salmon Crest design, exquisitely detailed
in Mother of Pearl buttons. A contemporary feather design is featured
on the dancer¹s skirting which is detailed with hand stitched
Mother of Pearl Buttons.