In Looking at IndianArt of the Northwest Coast, the elements of style are introduced; the myths and legends that form the motives are interpreted; the stylistic differences between the main cultural groups are defined and illustrated. Raven, Thunderbird, Orca, Bear: all traditional forms are here, deftly analyzed by a professional writer and artist who has a deep understanding of this powerful culture.
17 May 2020
In Looking at IndianArt of the Northwest Coast ,the elements of style are introduced; the myths and legends which shape the motifs are interpreted; the stylistic differences between the major cultural groupings are defined and illustrated. Raven, Thunderbird, Killer Whale, Bear: all the traditional forms are here, deftly analyzed by a professional writer and artist who has a deep understanding of this powerful culture.
Over 1000 artifacts of the Pacific Northwest coast Indians are illustrated and described as to how these items were made and used.
Of the many resources available to the First Nations of the Northwest Coast, the most vital was fish. The people devised ingenious ways of catching the different species of fish, creating a technology vastly different from that of today's industrial world. With attention to clarity and detail, Hilary Stewart illustates their hooks, lines, sinkers, lures, floats, clubs, spears, harpoons, nets, traps, rakes, and gaffs, showing how these were made and used-in over 450 drawings and 75 photographs. She has gathered material from major museums and from the old people in coastal villages and fish camps. One section demonstrates how the catch was butchered, cooked, rendered, and preserved. The spiritual aspects of fishing are described as well--prayers and ceremonies in gratitude and honour to the fish, customs and taboos indicating the people's respect for this life-giving resource. The fish designs on household and ceremonial objects are depicted--images that tell of fishing's importance to the whole culture.
This book is for anyone who has looked at artifacts from the Northwest Coast in a museum and wondered: "How were these made?" "What was their function?" "How were they used?" Hilary Stewart lifts artifacts out of their isolation in a glass case and puts them into the context of the life of early native people on the coast. Archaeological excavations, or "digs, " have unearthed an array of ancient artifacts. While items made of perishable materials such as wood, bark and hide usually decayed over time, many objects of stone, bone, antler and shell have been found. In clear, easy to read text and over 1000 illustrations and 50 photos, Hilary Stewart depicts a wide range of artifacts. These tools, weapons, hunting and fishing gear, household and ceremonial items and ornaments reveal much about a people's way of life: how they fed, clothed, adorned and housed themselves; their technologies, skills and art; their trading and travelling patterns.
From the giant cedar of the rainforest came a wealth of raw materials vital to the way of life, art and culture of the early First Nations people of the Northwest Coast. All parts of the cedar tree had many uses. From the wood, skilled men made ocean-going canoes, massive post-and-beam houses, monumental carved poles that declared history, rights and lineage, and powerful dance masks. Women dextrously wove the inner bark into mats and baskets, plied it into cordage and netting or processed it into soft, warm, water-repellent clothing. They also made the strong withes into heavy-duty rope and wove the roots into watertight baskets. Hilary Stewart explains, through her vivid descriptions, 550 detailed drawings and 50 photographs, the tools and techniques used, as well as the superbly crafted objects and their uses - all in the context of daily and ceremonial life. Anecdotes, oral history and the accounts of early explorers, traders, missionaries and native elders highlight the text.