Art of War
Contrary to popular belief, war was a part of the landscape in pre-contact times on the Pacific Northwest Coast.
Yet the way we think of this concept in
Western thought today is a far cry from what it may have been long ago. Various authors and historians have explored this subject in particular with
Native culture here in this region but I have been particularly interested in
the perspective offered recently by Alexandra Harmon. In her book
“Indians in the Making” she touches on backgrounds and reaffirms that Natives in the Puget Sound in particular had protocols in battle that
were understood across the territories.
This concept explains that in war long ago a resolution often forged high
ranking families together and that
much trade in way of names, songs
and dances came through this in turn providing fuel f o r the culture generating wealth.
This particular piece is inspired by a bone war club from the Puget Sound that is part of the Burke Museum collection. It is however revisited in a style of the Nuuchah-
nulth design tradition. I have been inspired for many years by the art of our Nuu-chah-nulth neighbors and love to explore that stylistic traditions when
possible. As part of the “The Head Adorned: Helmets, Hats, Frontlets, Masks, & Jewelry” exhibit at Stonington Gallery I didn’t think twice about the style I wanted to work in for it.