Acrylic Paint and Gold Leaf on Canvas
caləɫali is the original name for Tacoma pre-contact. caləɫali altarpiece is based on the Ghent altarpiece painted by master Jan Van Eyck. Pettibon merges the Coast Salish and European origin stories with the familiar European ornate clothing and crown, and the Lushootseed prayer in the gold arch. Instead of the bible she is reading a story of the creator in Lushootseed. The creator’s Lushootseed name is “dukʷibəɫ”, painted in red on the wallpaper. Painted on the wallpaper is salmon, representing sacrifice, as the salmon are a sacred animal for Coast Salish people. caləɫali altarpiece shows Pettibon’s journey of reclaiming her Indigenous culture while amidst the predominant European culture.
The prayer in the arches of the painting is in Lushootseed, and a translation is below:
ʔəsḱʷədiidəxʷ čəɫ txʷəl ti sləx̌il
We are praisingly grateful for this day
ʔəsḱʷədiidəxʷ čəɫ txʷəl ti slijəɫ qʷibid ti x̌əččəɫ
We are praisingly grateful for this life
qʷibid ti ćuqʷəbčəɫ
Fix our thoughts
qʷibid ti səličəɫ
Fix our souls
So be it
(Changer, aka Creator, aka Transformer)
The story in the book is “Star Husband”, which is the story of how creator came to be.
*txʷəlšucid is the dialect I speak and the proper linguistic punctuation for the written language is to have all lowercase letters.