The Medicine Kettle from Kettle Point, Ontario

About this object

History of use

The contemporary 'woodland art tradition', of which John Laford is a part, traces its roots to the ancient rock art of the Canadian Sheild and to the shamanistic tradition of bark scroll work. Cree and Ojibwa mythology and shamanistic imagery is frequently depicted in these works.

Cultural context

contemporary art; spirit painting; legend painting

Iconographic meaning

The circles represent medicine rocks obtained from kettle point.

Physical description

Painting depicting a series of interconnected figures, all outlined and segmented with black lines and composed of areas of solid colour. There is a large orange circle to the left with a series of three stylized humanoid faces on the right, each face black with a round brown eye and extended tongue. Connected to the faces are the heads of four bird creatures, and two wings. The heads of the birds are black with round brown eyes, open mouths, hooked beaks and yellow necks. Above and below the orange circle are smaller circles: the top is blue and yellow with a central brown band, and the bottom is blue and yellow separated by a black band. Made in the Anishnaabe style.