Ditidaht painted curtain

RBCM 19642
Art Thompson

Tsa-qwa-supp, Art Thompson, was born in Whyac, a Ditidaht village at the western end of Nitinat Lake, in 1948, and died of cancer in Victoria in 2003. He based this painting on cloth, titled The Witness, on the tradition of Nuu-chah-nulth ceremonial curtains, but it is a new design commissioned in 1986 by two anthropologists for their private collection. Like all of Tsa-qwa-supp’s work, the design unites formline conventions of the northern Northwest Coast with Nuu-chah-nulth content. Two humans, one male and one female, are shown turning into Wolves. A Thunderbird witnesses the transformation. The ability of creatures to transform from one state to another is a fundamental aspect of the Nuu-chah-nulth world view. Killer whales become wolves when they leave the water, for example, and Thunderbirds have human forms but don their bird cloaks to catch whales.

This image may require permission from the copyright holder before a print can be supplied

This object selected by Dr Martha Black.