Williams, Raymond (c. 1933 - 1988)

Culture/Community

Ditidaht (Nitinaht)

Biography

Raymond Williams was the son of Sam Williams, a Ditidaht carver (c. 1884-1979) who was the originator of the distinctive Williams family carving style that is generally not expressive of historical Nuu-chah-nulth carving styles, and who formed a close association with Ye Olde Curiosity Shop in Seattle. Raymond, also Ditidaht, carved in Seattle and Nitinat Lake, BC. In Seattle he worked for both Ye Olde Curiosity Shop and the Hudson Bay Fur Company. His favourite pole types were small versions of the popular winged Alert Bay pole and the Seattle totem pole in Pioneer Square. His work is typically characterized by many small cuts, sometimes cutting through the surface to the back. He was a prolific carver of model poles, influenced in style by his father's work, and developing his own style. After 1970 he signed his poles on the back. Raymond Williams' children and grandchildren continue to carve model poles today.