Born in Victoria 1986, Qwul’thilum (Dylan Thomas) is a Coast Salish artist from the Lyackson First Nation, who were traditionally from Valdes Island. more >
Traditional Cultures & Art
Traditional Cultures & Art along the Northwest Coast and near the abundant rivers of the north, Native groups gathered and flourished. From the north to the south these tribes were: the Tlingit, Haida, Nisga'a, Gitxsan, Tsimshian, Nuxalk, Heiltsuk, Kwakwaka'wakw, Nuu-Chah-Nulth, and Coast Salish.
Within each tribe existed a system of ranked societies. The drive to acquire status and wealth within this heirarchy was the source from which much of the cultural artifacts sprang.
Native economies, which were forest and ocean dependant, also determined the raw materials to be used in ceremony and everyday life in the production of canoes, hats, baskets, paddles, boxes, and items for trade with other tribes. During the summer villagers moved to different camps to fish, collect cedar, and seafood . By the fall enough had been gathered to last the winter.
Winter was the time that men made their claims to rank at the potlatch ceremonies and demonstrated their personal and family rights through dance. For these ceremonies, masks, rattles, drums, jewellery, feast dishes, ceremonial regalia, dance curtains and gifts of astounding beauty were created. Many ancient examples of these priceless treasures exist today in museums and are studied by modern native artists.
There are animal crests, mythic supernatural beings, and histories of families found in the ancient and the modern art forms. The connection from the ancient carved images to the more contemporary forms of the art is strong and unbroken.