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Power, Vitality, Innovation and Optimism
Helper of man, the Great Eagle of all Native Community, known as the supreme conqueror of the skies. Thunderbird is the largest and most powerful totem of native people. He has horns and his wingbeats are said to produce thunder, while lightning flashes from his beak.
To the west coast people this great bird is the most powerful of all the spirits – the personification of “Chief”. Only a chief may wear this symbol.
Eugene Hunt was born in 1946 in Alert Bay, B.C. Born to Chief Thomas Hunt and Emma Hunt, he is a member of the Fort Rupert Band of the Kwagiulth nation. In the early 1960’s he spent about four years carving at Thunderbird Park, Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria where he learned from Mungo Martin, Henry and Tony Hunt. He left his artwork for the next twenty-five years which he spent as a commercial fisherman. Eugene resumed carving in 1987 also took up painting. In recent years he has worked with Calvin Hunt, George Hunt Jr. and John Livingston.
Thunderbird and Killer whale are major crest figures for the Northwest Coast First Nations. The Thunderbird can be recognized by the curled horn on his head, which is characteristic of a supernatural creature. This formidable creature was capable of catching Killer Whales out of the sea with the use of his huge talons.
With this design, Eugene Hunt has used the shape of a drum to contain these two impressive creatures. The rim design of the painted drum has been incorporated into the farming device for this print.