Welcome Figure

About this object

History of use

Traditionally figures like this were carved for specific feasts and then thrown out into the bush. The ladle the figure holds would have held oolachan oil.


The welcome figure was commissioned by Derek Simpkins in 1979. The sketches were approved in Dec. 1980, and carving was completed in Dec. 1981 at the Granville Island workshop. The figure was exhibited at Norman's studio gallery until May 1982. According to Mr. Simpkins, the carving of this figure inspired Joe David to carve a welcome figure.

Physical description

Large standing welcome figure on a circular base. The figure has a mask-like face with deep set eyes, low relief eyebrows, prominent cheek bones and sharp angular nose. The mouth is open, showing two rows of teeth. The torso is straight and legs slightly bent at knees. The arms are carved separately in two pieces and joined at shoulders and elbows with wooden pegs. The elbows are bent, hands in front holding a carved wooden ladle (part b). The ladle has a deep oval bowl and a handle less than half the length of the whole.