The Northwest: Exam 4 Images

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Bill Reid (Haida); "The Raven and the First Men"; 1983; origin story of Haida people - Raven as a trickster that coaxes humans out of a claim; innovative, but ties into historical symbolism; humans emerge into a world that expresses duality (e.g. pain and pleasure); lineage key to understand NW coast art

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Photo of Tlingit Indians in ceremonial finery at a potlatch; Alaska; 1904; wearing Chilkat blankets and other garments which displays wealth; in potlatch's, families show lineage and status with how much they give away; sense of ownership of lineage (inherited maternally)

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Proto-Salish culture artist; bowl in the form of a seated human figure made of soapstone (human effigy); Pebble Stone Tool culture; 1-500CE; similar to medicine bowls used in puberty ceremonies; ritual function; evidence of carving during time period

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Makah artist; side of a carved chest made of western red cedar; 16th c.; Ozette site, Washington; represents "archaic" relief carving style; Ozette is a preserved archaeological site because of a mudslide that covered houses; discovered in 1960s/70s and found 50,000 objects

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Photograph of Skidegate, Alaska; 1878; a Haida village left over after disease epidemic (smallpox); population goes from 200,000 to 40,000; risk of losing elders and knowledge because it was an oral culture; find crests everywhere

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Northern NW coast artist; paired stone masks made of basalt and green stone; dates unknown; collected in Tsimshian territory in late 19th c.; configurative representation: profile, most straightforward mode, most visual information; vision metaphor for power (Shaman can see in ways others can't)

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Chilkat blanket; distributive style: identifying what's presented is difficult, design still represents symbol (animal) but parts are rearranged and distributed throughout the work which allows for more richness of design; formline style; polyiconic traits

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Formline design from carved and painted chest; following from Bill Holm's analysis (started formal analysis with Native work); focuses on lines between shapes, they aren't uniform which brings in elegance; ovoid (oval) and U-shaped forms

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Tsimshian artist; bentwood chest made of painted cedar; pre-1862; British Columbia; made of one piece of wood steamed and bent into shape; mostly used for storage (including masks and ceremonial finery), but some for cooking because it's waterproof; distributive style; Northern style (more dominant because formline style considered better because could do formal analysis)

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Nuu-chah-nulth artist; House screen; 1850; British Columbia; Central style region; more simplified, less complex; geometrical units (characteristic of more archaic styles); shown during potlatches and other important occasions depicting chief's crest story

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Quinault artist; oil dish made of alder or yew and glass beads; 19th c.; Washington; southern coastal carving; Paul Wingert challenged hierarchy of styles and said items like this were also important; used at potlatches; animal effigies (sea monster)

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Coast Salish artist; blanket made of mountain-goal wool; 1840; southerners more adept at textiles; comparative to Navajo "eyedazzlers" but long before them (Navajo still in chief/bar style)

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Salish artist; basket made of cattail leaves and grass; late 19th c.; similar in method of construction to far west/cali baskets, but very different design tradition (less rotational geometry); coiled and twined baskets for cooking and storage; designs from individual visions with spirit helpers

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Coast Salish artist; line drawing of Spirit Canoe board; 1920; used in Coast Salish Spirit Canoe Ceremony (shamanism ritual), song is more important than visual arts in this ceremony; board is an aid to absorb any negative spirit energy and then discarded after use

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Tlingit artist; Shaman's mask made of wood and pigment; 19th c.; collected by George Emmons; high level of naturalism (subtle understanding of volume/structure; skilled carver); wear masks to achieve power gained by Yeks (spirit animals); Yek's tongue as a source of power; could also represent a patient

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Tlingit artist; oystercatcher rattle made of wood, ermine skin, bird skin, bone, rawhide, and pigments; 1830-50; Shaman tying up a witch (she could be a source of illness) and public display of power; created a buzzing sound during ceremony; oystercatcher is a liminal animal; collected from a grave

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Kwakwaka'wakw artist; wolf transformation mask made of wood, twin, animal hide, and pigment; late 19th c.; central style providence; masking in context of aggressive potlatches; moving parts that show mythological (animal) changing to animal aspects

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Photo of Hamatsa masks dancing at potlatch; 1983; British Columbia; Hamatsa Society initiation of young men who had been captured by Northern Spirits; cannibal mythological figures; beginning of Winter Cycle Ceremony

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Photo of Charles Edenshaw displaying argillite carvings; Haida; 1880; best known Haida argillite carvers; keeping tradition alive that can't be practiced in other ways due to oppression

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Isabella Edenshaw and Charles Edenshaw (Haida); clan hat; late 19th c.; artistic prestige comes down family line; hats single most important items of dress among NW coast and displayed crests of owners; gender specialization (Isabella wove it and put it together and Charles painted it

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House of Bella Coola chief reconstructed at the Canadian Museum of Civilization; visit of Nuxalk to Berlin inspired young Franz Boas to study North American ethnology

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Robert Davidson (Haida); "Reflections"; silkscreen print; 1976; graphic works bush the limits of formline style; rebirth of native NW coast symbolism married with modernism; interest in elegant abstract forms

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Dorothy Grant and Robert Davidson (Haida); hummingbird copper dress made of wool/cashmere, beads, and hand applique; 1989; formline designs on haute couture clothing designs