Three Things Thursday

Image of the Sun

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Here’s this week’s offering for Three Things Thursday, the purpose of which is to “share three things from the previous week that made you smile or laugh or appreciate the awesome of your life.”

On the day of our recent visit to the Impressionism exhibit at the Seattle Art Museum, we also stopped by the Native American of the Northwest and Pacific Coast Gallery. Since moving from St. Louis, MO, to Tacoma, WA, I have enjoyed learning about the Native cultural heritage of this area. Here are three items from that exhibit.

From the Native American of the Northwest and Pacific Coast Gallery, Seattle Art Museum

(Click on any image to see a larger version)

1. Cedar Bark Dress

Cedar Bark DressI had heard that the red cedar tree provided for many of the needs of Native Americans, including clothing. Since I wondered how a tree could provide clothing, I was glad to see this piece on exhibit.

Cedar Bark Dress, 1985

Red cedar bark, raffia

Alice Williams

Upper Skagit (1907–1996)

2. Thunderbird Mask and Regalia

Thunderbird Mask and Regalia

Thunderbird Mask and Regalia, 2006

wood, paint, feathers, rabbit fur, cloth

Calvin Hunt Tlasutiwalis

Canadian, Kwagu’l, born 1956

In the myth stories in our culture we believe that the animals and the birds can take off their cloaks and transform into human beings.

—Calvin Hunt

Spectacular, articulated dance masks are the specialty of Kwakwaka’wakw artists who craft the elaborate regalia worn in the dance-dramas depicting mythic events and deeds of ancestors, and supernatural beings. The songs accompanying the dance reinforce the dramatization of the stories, and are as important as the mask and costume. Together they transport the audience to a time when supernatural beings and humans interacted, as represented in this mask, in which the Thunderbird transforms into a human, Hunt’s first ancestor.

3. The First People

The First People

This dynamic piece is placed to catch the visitor’s eye from afar.

The First People, 2008

Red cedar, yellow cedar

Susan Point

Coast Salish, Musqueam band, born 1951

The homelands of the Musqueam of the Fraser River Delta are punctuated by meandering pathways as the Fraser reaches teh Strait of Georgia. The faces within the tendrils represent the hereditary bloodlines that connected families in the region, and the waterways that were lifelines yielding food resources, sustaining Delta people from time immemorial.

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Featured Image (at top of this post): Image of the Sun

Image of the Sun (Sinxolatia), ca. 1880

Red cedar, alder, and paint


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