Scingw Food of the Thunderbird

About this object


According to the artist this is a traditional spindle whorl design. In an interview with Art Curator Karen Duffek (1985), she stated that:"the word "scingw'" means food of the thunderbird in English - that I got from Della Kew. We had a hell of a time figuring out what these animals were, and I said to her, because of her knowledge in Salish Art, is that they did look like the old serpents of some sort, which would be the food of the thunderbird. She thought it would be an appropriate name for something like this, because of these little snake-like animals." Susan also noted that the colours used in this print represent ochre the only colour agents that they used in the past.

Cultural context

contemporary art; traditional motifs; guardian spirit complex

Physical description

Silkscreened print of a spindle whorl design in red ink on beige coloured paper. The circular design has two human faces in the centre that share the same circle for a mouth. The human figures are aligned vertically to produce a mirror image effect. They are encircled by four serpent-like creatures with stripes along their bodies. Lines radiate out from the figures to the edge of the circle. In pencil underneath the image is written: 4/60 Coast Salish Spindle Whorl "Scingw' Food of the Thunderbird 09/81 Susan A. Sparrow.