Kwa-Gulth Hamatsa Raven

About this object

History of use

Northwest Coast serigraphs are a contemporary art form, deriving from early 20th century drawings of traditional crest and decorative designs, commissioned by anthropologists and undertaken by artists such as Charles Edenshaw. Residential schools reinforced the medium, while discouraging the use of traditional themes. An important series of traditional designs in coloured pencil and watercolour were done by Mungo Martin for UBC in 1949-50. The 1960's saw the rapid growth of prints, first in unlimited poster editions, and later with the establishment of the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art at 'Ksan (1967), and of the Northwest Coast Indian Artists Guild (1977), limited edition art runs became the standard. Northwest Coast silkscreen prints are part of the mainstream art market, as well as, functioning within the native context as potlatch gifts, and commemorative prints. Although, there are distinctive regional styles, individual artists may work in several styles, or apply unique themes and variations to specific works.

Cultural context

contemporary art

Physical description

Large stylized bird in vertical alignment profile facing to the left side. Has black form line, ovoids, etc. as well as secondary ovoids, u forms, split u's etc. in red. Uptilted head with open beak. Red tongue extends outward and downward diverging into six strands terminating in a skull-like head with fifteen black vertical pointed lines extending below. Body of bird contains a large left facing head with a black limb extending from the mouth with even teeth rows. Upper limb is an elongated u form paralleling a split u. Lower limb is at ninety degrees, same only shorter than the upper. Ovoid with face for a palm or foot with three red digits and the fourth opposed. Tail below large face is in three segments with spiky black lines between and an upside down face in the ovoid at the top. Wing on the right has two segments to the bottom, banded across the top in three parts. Top row is a face in an ovoid next to small ovoids on u forms. Second is red crosshatched split u's with a red split u between. Third row is two red split u's with circles to each side of the split. Two bottom vertical wing extensions match. Upside down head in ovoid is followed by a series of split u's etc. to the pointed end. Pencil inscription along the bottom edge reads 'Tony Hunt KWA-GULTH HAMATSA RAVEN 55/125'. The print is on a vertically rectangular, light white-brown paper stock.