Painting

About this object

Narrative

In 1951, while in a Vancouver hospital, Mungo Martin, a Kwagu’ł chief and artist, painted a watercolour (part of a set) in a spiral drawing book of the kind of Dzunuk̓wa feast dish he would have seen in his home community of Fort Rupert.

Iconographic meaning

The legendary Wild Woman is shown reclining, her body forming one compartment for food, her head another, and with smaller bowls in the form of breasts, navel, and kneecaps. A mask-like cover is placed over the head compartment.

Physical description

A red, yellow, green, and black Dzunuk'wa feast dish with moveable small dishes on top on a white background. The feast dish is lying down with the head to the right side. The black head has a yellow face with red lips and red nostrils. The shoulder has an oval black eye surrounded by an oval that has points at both ends and is surrounded by a green area flanked by thick, curving red lines. The elbow has a black oval surrounded by another. The upper arm is yellow with red lines. The lower arm has red u shapes. The black and white hand has five fingers and an ovoid. The body is yellow. The hip has an oval black pupil and eye surrounded by an oval that has points at both ends and is surrounded by a green area flanked by a curving red lines and black dashes. The knee has a black ovoid. The leg is yellow with black lines. The upper leg has three inverted red u forms. The lower leg has a black ovoid and an inverted red u form. The foot is black. The small dish on the chest has a yellow face in profile and facing to the left side. The small dish on the stomach is yellow decorated with a black ovoid at the centre surrounded by red dashed bands. The small dish on the knee is yellow with a black eye at the centre. Pen on the top left corner reads words for 'dish' and 'big dish'. The painting is horizontally rectangular.