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Power statue of two humanoid figures and zoomorphic subsidiary elements - Donald Ellis Gallery


Central Coast Salish
possibly Halkomelem

late 19th /early 20th century

wood, red, black and yellow paint, shell inlay

Inventory # CN1883-2


acquired by The Audain Art Museum, Whistler, BC


June Bedford Collection, London, United Kingdom
Sotheby's, New York, May 18, 2000, lot 680


"Incessant Renovation", The Art of the Native Peoples of the Northwest Coast of America, Canada House Cultural Centre, Trafalgar Square, London, UK, March 19 - May 28, 1993


Donald Ellis Gallery catalogue, 2001, pg. 19


Museum of Natural History, No. 16/4921 - See: From the Land of the Totem Poles, Jonaitis, University of Washington Press, 1988, pl. 84

Denver Art Museum, No. 1941.273 - See: Native American Art in the Denver Art Museum, CO, University of WA Press, Seattle, 1979, pl. 423

Art of the Northwest Coast Indians, Inverarity, University of California Press, 1950, pl. 241

This wonderfully sculpted figure relates to a group of objects believed to represent shamans' spirit helpers. Variously called guardian or power figures, and seen occasionally in the form of wands or rattles, these objects are among the most  striking forms of Coast Salish sculpture. More frequently found among the southern Salish groups of coastal Washington, this figure most closely relates to a group of carved heads collected by James Teit in 1900 from the Thomson, an Upper Fraser Valley Salish group (see: Wingert, Paul S., American Indian Sculpture: A Study of the Northwest Coast. New York: Hacker Books, 1976, pl. 26).

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