Carvers of Kwakiutl: Totem Poles, Masks, Dugout Boats

Carvers of Kwakiutl: Totem Poles, Masks, Dugout Boats

The Kwakiutl First Nation Community is located on the North East Side of the Vancouver Island in Fort Rupert, BC. The area, including the surrounding areas is rich in Kwakiutl artwork and I had the opportunity to speak with 2 of its carvers.

David Mungo Knox, a direct descendant of Chief Mungo Martin (Nakapenkem) who is the son of Yaxnukwelas of Gilford Island.

David showed me around his shop located on the main level of his home, which is also the oldest home in Fort Rupert.  He was taking a break from carving due to a hand injury, but showed me some of this current works of art. 

We talked, told stories, had a few laughs and then he showed me
the incredible view from his backyard.

I then went to see Calvin Hunt, a descendant of renown ethnologist George Hunt.

Calvin Hunt (left)

Calvin was working on a totem pole that was commissioned by a museum in Phoenix Arizona. (below picture)

Off to the side, he was also working on this cedar drum, which was already hollowed out.  It will be used by several drummers at one time during ceremonies. (below picture) 

Calvin pointing to a set of stairs and said to go up and look around,
it was a studio filled with magnificent work!

At the back and under the shelter were a couple dug out traditional boats.  Do you recognize the one of the left?  Its the boat Calvin carved out and was used in the 2010 Olympics to carry the torch. 

More photos from today can be found here – A Visual Experience 


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