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William Wasden Jr., Kwakwaka'wakw
Limited Edition: 73/299; Framed
60 X 55
Our Kwakwaka'wakw people see the moth as the physical form of ghosts, henceforth the traditional name Lo'linuxw, meaning ghost. In an ancient story from our tribe, the 'Namgis, an ancestral hero went to a lake in our vast territories of the Nimpkish Valley to seek supernatural power. It was at this special place where, after fasting and ritual bathing, he purified himself, allowing for spirits to no longer scent him and come into contact with him. Through his suffering the spirits took pity on him and chose to endow him with special gifts.
One spirit that appeared to him was a huge moth that rose from the depths of the lake and offered him the Dance of the Ghosts. This great privilege was taken along with the others to become the rites of his descendants to come. This story, which is very long and has much detail and beauty in it, is the inspiration for this design. I have put ghost faces into the design to connect my work with our history and beliefs. - Wak'analagalis (William Wasden Jr.)