When I was a child my grandfather told me many Indian stories, mostly involving Tlingit legends. One day he told me about a canoe ride he took as a small boy growing up in Sitka, Alaska. This was perhaps the last Indian war canoe that traveled from Sitka to Ketchikan to settle a major problem between the two local tribes. He remembered he was with his sister and both were around 10 years old. They were kept near the bow of the canoe. Their father was a chieftain leading one of the canoes. It took them 10 days to travel the 200+ miles due to weather conditions and heavy seas. When they arrived in Ketchikan, his father took one of the canoes ashore by himself to meet with the Ketchikan chief. He was greeted with muskets and arrows. The two leaders ended up settling their differences with a large potlatch. Grandfather remembers seeing his first chicken at that potlatch. The natives had learned how to raise chickens from the many seafaring white men that had stopped there to trade.
My sculpture interprets
a child's dream. While riding the heavy seas, the child recalls many
stories about whales and other sea creatures and imagines Whale is
giving his family a free ride on his mighty tail. HIs father is checking
on the children where they lie under cover at the bow of the canoe.
Mother is in the middle, and an older brother or uncle is steering
Bronze sculpture on granite base
12” h x 15.5” w x 10.5” d
Limited Edition of 35
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