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Native American tribes living near the oceans, like coastal cultures all over the world, have many stories about dolphins and porpoises helping people by carrying them to shore in rough waters or driving away menacing sharks. In some California Indian legends, dolphins are said to have been transformed from humans and serve as special protectors of the tribe. (Some tribes forbid the eating of dolphin meat for this reason; others, like the Chumash, believe that dolphins intentionally sacrifice themselves to hunters in order to feed the people and hold special Dolphin Dances in their honour). And in South America, Amazon River dolphins (also known as "pink dolphins" or "boto dolphins") are regarded with fear and awe by some indigenous tribes, who believe the dolphins to be powerful shapeshifting sorcerers that may seduce women or drive men insane.
A self-taught Haida artist born in Prince Rupert, BC, in 1961, Eric is a member of the Masset Band from the Haida Gwaii Nation. His crest is the Eagle and his family clan is the Frog. While Eric has always been exposed to Haida art, he only started creating prints and paintings on a regular basis in 2002. Eric cites Bill Reid and Robert Davidson as his primary influences, and most of his pieces reflect classic Haida design. Eric's goal as an artist is to "continue to be a small part of the revival and continuity of our peoples' traditions." Eric's work includes a 7-feet Eagle's painting on fibreglass for the Eagles in the City Project for BC Lions Children's charity. He also has two limited edition prints currently displayed in the US Embassy: Ethan & Isaiah (twin salmons in honour of his twin nephews) and Eagle (shown in the photo above).