Harry Williams 'Salmon' Ceremonial Plaque
Beautiful, original and signed 14.5' inches long by 5' inch wide by 1' deep red cedar wood carved plaque with his depiction of ''Salmon'' in the style of the Huu-Ay-Aht which is part of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth nation .
This beautiful red cedar wood carving with wall mount plaque is used for the purpose of ceremonial presentation, signed by Harry Williams.
Harry passed away on April 01, 2020
The Salmon symbolizes prosperity, renewal and fertility. They are one of the most important and highest respected animals of all since they have been the primary food source from the beginning of time to the Northwest Coast First Nations.
The Pacific Northwest Coast people believed that Salmon were actually humans with eternal life how lived in a large house far under the ocean. In the Spring, they put on their Salmon disguises and offered themselves to the villagers as food. The tribes believed that when entire fish skeletons were returned to the sea, the spirits would rise again and change into Salmon people. In this way, the cycle could begin again the following year. Since the villagers feared that the Salmon people would not be treated respectfully by White people who had no knowledge of the taboos and regulations, they did not want to sell Salmon to the first White men.
Salmon is considered the staple food of many coastal communities, brought to the rivers seas by the Raven. The Haida tell of how Raven stole the salmon from the Beaver people by rolling up their stream and landscape like a carpet and flying away. It was so heavy that he could only fly a short distance at a time. He would stop wherever there was a tree to rest. The Beaver people transformed themselves back into Beavers in order to stop him. They would gnaw down the trees that Raven stopped at and each time some Salmon and stream would escape the rolled up landscape forming great streams and rivers of Salmon. Not only was the salmon a favourite food of the Raven, it also became a favourite of the Haida.
In Kwagiulth culture, twins alone have the right to the Salmon dance. To give birth to twins was a sacred gift bestowed on a mother and was believed to have come from the Salmon people.
Harry Williams lives on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. He was a member of the Ditidaht Tribe but is now part of the Huu-ay-aht Tribe, both part of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth First Nations.
He has been carving since 2003. His carvings consist of various items such as masks, totem poles and plaques. He prefers to use paint and varnish on his pieces.
He was taught by Dave Nahant, Derald Scoular and Mark Mickey, who are all prominent carvers