Surf Board Fish Cedar Box
Cecil Dawson Surfboard Fish Box
NOS Beautiful, original and signed 11 1/2 inches long box by 17 inch long lid by 2 1/2 inch high ceremonial cedar wood box with his depiction of ''Surfboard Fish'' in the style of the Kwakuitl nation used for potlatching and ceremonies .
This beautiful cedar wood box is signed by Hereditary Chief and artist Cecil Dawson.
Potlatches are social occasions given by a host to establish or uphold his/her status position within the tribe. Often they were held to mark a significant event in their family, such as the birth of a child, a daughter’s first menses, or a marriage. Potlatches are to be distinguished from feasts in that all guests are invited to a potlatch to share food and receive gifts or payment. Potlatches held by commoners were mainly local, while members of high standing often invited guests from many tribes. Potlatches were also the venue in which permission to use ceremonial privileges was asserted, displayed, and formally transferred to heirs.
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.