Xiitiid Xyaalaas [Salmonberry Bird], 2014
This work is about a group of birds that we know in Haida Gwaii as salmonberry birds. They are songbirds (Swainson’s Thrush) and arrive in the springtime to spread the seeds — and the sweetness of their songs cause the berry bushes to sprout and the flowers to bloom. They assist in the pollination of the flowers and bringing forth the fruit much prized by our people.
We have created several Salmonberry Bird masks for the Woman’s Dancing Society — and have assisted with the revival and creation of old and new chants and songs.
The copper smashing ceremony was a thing of great beauty.
Anyone in Ottawa who is able to should head to Parliament Hill tomorrow afternoon. Kwakwaka’wakw artist Beau Dick is going to be smashing a copper shield there at 2pm. Apparently it’s an old Coast Salish ceremony that is meant to shame people and this will be the first time it has been performed in decades. Should be a powerful sight.
Here is the link to the facebook event if anyone is interested.