A piece of West Coast First Nations history and culture is captured in each of these uniquely handcrafted figures.

Figures

The Coast Salish Kingfisher Dancer

The Haida Peace and Welcome Dancer

The Mowachaht Maquinna Whaler

 

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West Coast Originals

Haida Peace and Welcome Dancer

Winner of the Juror’s Choice Award
at the Sidney Fine Art Show, 2005

Haida Peace & Welcome Dancer

The Haida of the Queen Charlotte Islands (Haida Gwaii)), British Columbia, Canada have fascinated all who have visited them, from the first travelers and explorers of the late eighteenth century to the anthropologists of the present. The Haida present a culture complex in social organization and rich in artistic expression which displays a fine and fulfilling balance between man and the natural and supernatural worlds.

The Haida Peace and Welcome Dance is a traditional dance performed by hereditary chiefs in the second ceremonial series at a Haida potlatch. The welcoming chief wears a Chilkat robe or a colorful button blanket displaying his family crest. Eagle down held in the crown of the eagle frontlet headdress, which is adorned with trailing ermine fur and inlaid abalone shell, is shaken out to float gracefully in a cloud around the dancer during his performance. The eagle down signifies peace and is considered a gesture of welcome from the Haida to their guests. The guest chief would often perform a similar dance in response. If the dances were held inside the Longhouse, the light from the central fire would reflect and flicker on the inlaid abalone shell in the eagle frontlet headdress.

The Welcome Dancer’s regalia boasts an exquisitely detailed hand-carved eagle frontlet created by First Nations artist and Master Carver Wayne Thomas. The eagle frontlet headdress is adorned with ermine fur and inlaid abalone shell. A hand-carved talking stick, which signifies the salmon run, accompanies the dancer. The authentic button blanket regalia, designed by Haida artist Sue Campbell, displays the Haida eagle crest, which is exquisitely detailed in genuine mother-of-pearl buttons and glass beads. The dance skirt features the traditional copper design accompanied with dance leggings, which are detailed with Dentalium shell ties and bone beads. Designing artists sign each piece of the dancer’s regalia.

The Haida Welcome Dancer is presented on a custom-designed hand-chipped cedar base inlaid with a sterling silver eagle medallion by silver artist Nancy Dawson. A carved cedar collector’s book containing a certificate of authenticity, artist biographies and cultural information is presented with this figure. Due its rarity, this fine art piece will only be offered as an exclusive investment limited edition.


 

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Haida Peace & Welcome Dancer - Close up of Head dress

Haida Peace & Welcome Dancer - Close up of Talking Stick

Haida Peace & Welcome Dancer - Close up of Robe