Salmon Twins Plaque Carving
Cecil Dawson Salmon Twins Plaque
NOS Beautiful, original and signed 40 inches long by 7 1/2 inch wide by 3/4 inch deep large cedar wood carved plaque with his depiction of ''Salmon Twins'' in the style of the Kwakuitl nation .
This beautiful approx. early 90's cedar wood plaque is signed by Cecil Dawson.
Cecil only ever makes one of a kind pieces and never makes the same one twice.
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.
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.
Wood Carver, Painter, First Nations, Pryrographic Woodburner
Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada • Kwakuitl Nation
Born into a family of artists, Cecil Dawson began his artistic career at a very young age. His grandfather Jimmy Dick, a totem and mask carver, taught Cecil the intricacies of carving. Cecil also spent time under the tutelage of his cousin, mask carver Simon Dick. Other masters who influenced Cecil's artistic gifts were his great uncles Willie Seaweed, Henry Speck, and Dick Hawkins.
Cecil is from the Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation. His father is head chief of the Mountain Goat Hunter clan and his mother comes from the Wolf clan. Cecil's cultural involvement is important to him; he is a historian and an initiated Hamatsa dancer.
Cecil's great labour of love is to replicate his family's masks and bring them back into ceremonial use once again. By doing so, he honours his cultural and traditional values. Cecil has a strong sense of propriety and will not copy from a book. His pieces are unique and to his own style, demonstrating a deeply rooted understanding of his culture.
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.