A traditional Coast Salish hunter stealthily paddles his canoe along the shorelines, holding up his lantern, his rifle sitting on his lap, waiting for that magical opportunity, and then he spots his prey, he slowly and accurately puts his paddle down, and reaches ever so slowly for his rifle, all the time the hunter knows that any abrupt movements would startle his pry, and it would quickly disappear into the darkness of the night.
Long before food gathering became a "sport", when capturing game was a matter of survival, night time food gathering by “shining” with torches or lanterns was traditionally practised with the Coast Salish Indian people when hunting deer, elk, and ducks because it was very effective and required very little effort in capturing game. One or two men would paddle a canoe quietly along close to the shore of an estuary or stream, carrying a touch or in later times carrying a lantern. The Indian hunter would have his bow and arrow at the ready, or his rifle, the rifle was used in the latter part of the 1800’s, and well into the early to mid 1900’s. When an animal paused for a curious look at the light, its eyes shone and revealed its position to the hunter, and the waiting hunter quickly and accurately shot it. The technique of traditional night hunting was especially well used in the wintertime, when the deer and elk would come down out of the deeper snows of the upland areas for water and better grazing. It was also utilized when these animals came out of the woods along the shoreline to lick the thin incrustation of salt on the beach rocks.
This print is a glimpse into the historical survival techniques of our Coast Salish Ancestors.
"Spirit Journey" In the old days, when a person in the village would die, the family of the deceased would anchor the family canoe for four days in the bay. They say that the anchored canoe is used by the people on the other side, and that it's used to bring the person who has left this world into the Spiritual World. In this Spirit Journey is the image of a Father who has come to bring his Daughter back with him to the Spirit world. The two are once again united; although she died of old age, her youth is now restored. She sits in the bow of the canoe, proud, and unafraid of what lies before her. She knows all the family, and all the friends who left ahead of her, are there waiting to greet her, and to welcome her home.
"A New Day" Sometimes in the darkest hours, when the harshness of life never seems to end...a ray of sunlight comes through, and the warmth feels so good; it’s a new day.
"Life is a Journey" Never be too focused on where you're heading in life, because life is really a very brief journey that will never come again. Always take the time to enjoy and admire the people and beauty that surrounds you.
Coast Salish Encounter
The British Columbia coast is rich in native culture which had evolved from 16,000 years of adaptation to this land and environment.
The Native Indian Tribes of the Northwest Coast were the makers of magnificentcanoes from the western red cedar tree. The Native Indian Tribes made several varieties of canoes. Early explores and missionaries when they encountered the Native Indian people of the Northwest Coast of British Columbia they were very impressed by the construction, sophistication, size, speed, and grace of these beautiful looking canoes.
This print “Young Eagle” originated from a sketch I made of my son Tyson while we were at a beach in Maple Bay. When I sketched my son, I sketched him as how I saw him interacting in his Spiritual form.
"As I watched my son using his new abilities and his new talents to his fullest, I noticed how the young Eagle seemed so confident in such a young way. The confidence of youth that is so strong, and yet so fragile at the same time.
My young Eagle seemed so strong, and so confident, and yet always looking back to see if his Father was watching him. Within him I noticed such a strong spiritual energy that only comes from youth, and within myself I noticed a son’s love and a Fathers pride." Artist Joe Jack.