Kin-Nay-Bic, Kin-No-Ba-Jing

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. This painting depicts a pictograph partially destroyed by Jesuit missionaries. The suppression of concepts of spirits, by all missionary groups, brought an end to rock art throughout the Sheild area.

Cultural context

contemporary art; spirit painting; legend painting

Iconographic meaning

The disembodied heads represent the heads of serpents chopped off the pictograph by the Jesuits.

Physical description

"Petroglyph of the Jesuits at Serpent River, Ontario" painting. Image depicts a series of interconnected figures, all outlined and segmented with black lines and composed of areas of solid colour. The central figure is snake-like with an orange-brown body segments, 11 tendril-like appendages, and its head is black with an open hooked mouth and an orange-brown concentric circle eye. Beside this figure, there is a brown and blue figure with two appendages that each taper to a point, and a hooked mouth. There are two disembodied heads, one at the top of the image and one at the bottom. There is a purple circle with two sets of four lines extending outwards, a green circle below the centre, and an orange circle at the bottom with three sets of three lines extending from the edge of the circle towards its centre. Made in the Anishnaabe style.