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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 


They Stole the Halloween Song!

They Stole the Halloween Song!

“Here comes the bride”, was never meant to be a wedding song.  I’m pretty sure it was originally a Halloween song because it’s the only song that scares the crap out of us…guys….but not me. I was married once. I did eights years, I’m not scared of anything!

“Here comes the bride” …you might as well play the music from the movie Jaws. It’s practically the same.  As soon as it starts to play the little hairs on the back of your neck stand up, nowhere to run, waiting and waiting in anticipation for the death scene.  Jaws is lurking in the background ready to attack…. in a wedding dress. Geez ladies, that’s not very romantic. (see blog:  “That Sounded Life a Nerf Gun.)  The guys should have their own wedding song to dance down the isle.  I’d totally be awesome at picking the songs for weddings!

The church doors open and in comes George.  His wedding song kicks in, “The Dude Looks Like a Lady.”….oh crap, wrong CD! Maybe the congregation won’t notice. Clicking to the next song, the spectators are now in a full-blown fight because Jayson accidentally plays, “Billy-Jean is not my Lover”.  Geez, nothing like bringing up the past.

No worries!  I have a back-up plan!  I’d toss a couple quarters to the old guy cranking up a wooded music box with a monkey dancing off to the side,…out of the box pops-up a Jaws puppet …in a wedding dress.  George is screwed…

Ummm…hire me for your next wedding?

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