Heiltsuk chief’s settee

unknown, but before 1900
RBCM 1856
Richard Carpenter

Du’kļwayella, Captain Richard Carpenter (1841-1931), was a chief, potlatcher, canoe maker, boat builder and carver. For a time, he was also the lighthouse keeper at Dryad Point just north of Bella Bella (Wáglísla). One of his names, Wúxˇvúas, refers to the sound of the lighthouse’s fog horn. This settee was collected at the Dryad Point lighthouse in 1900 and purchased by Charles F. Newcombe in 1911. The Eagle design on the back and Killer whale designs on the sides of the settee are Carpenter family crests. Although he did not sign his works, Carpenter’s recognizable style has allowed artists and scholars, both First Nations and nonaboriginal, to attribute a large body of work to him. Captain Carpenter is the best-known historical Heiltsuk artist, and his artistic influence continues in Bella Bella today.

This object selected by Dr Martha Black.