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Artist / Maker : Dick, Francis
Title : Kwaxsistala's Beginnings
Date (Execution) : 1994
Geographical Origin : Gwayi (Kingcome Inlet); British Columbia; Canada
Cultural Group : Dzawada̱ʼenux̱w (Tsawataineuk), Kwakwaka'wakw
Style / Period : Contemporary 1950 -
Medium / Material  : Serigraph
Support / Technique : Paper
Object Type : screen prints
Visual Description : First Nations formline technique. Grey, blue and black with image of the Earth in the very centre and a moon in the top left corner. Various animal shapes throughout.
Accession # : U014.3.135
Width (cm) : 55.00
Height (cm) : 76.50
Depth (cm) :
Mandatory Credit : Gift from the Collection of George and Christiane Smyth
Artist Statement : "Throughout the past eight years I have created paintings which depict the legend of the Kawadelekala,the first wolf of Kingcome Inlet, and the wolf which my family descends from. These creations of Kawaxisistala are my way of honoring my family. This print I have chosen to call 'Kwaxsistala's Beginnings' to honor my father, Hereditary Chief Kwaxsistala, who's name means 'The smoke from his house reaches around the world'. In spite of the constant destructiveness and animosity directed towards my father inside and outside the act of sacred ceremonies,his knowledge and love for the ancient ways continues to shine through. I see you stand before the nations speaking a language that is no longer understood. In a house once sacred fire crackling smoke stretching towards the heavens. I see the pain in your eyes when young boys who beat upon the drums laugh and scorn your presence, their whispers hiss, 'He doesn't know what he is talking about. He knows nothing'. And yet, I still see you stand before the nations, dancing ancientness that is ridiculed. In a house once sacred, fire crackling, smoke drifting towards the heavens. I feel the pain in my heart when I hear you have been betrayed by those who have used you for your wealth to only turn on you to echo the voices of the young boys. Yet to continue, Kwaxistala, to stand before the nations in a house once sacred form mistreatment of others, hateful hisses of condemnation and betrayal, all the while the fire, too, continue to crackle and its smoke continues to drift towards the heavens and so shall you continue, Kwaxsistala... From the top end of Kingcome Inlet out of the glaciers came a large wolf, his name Galalatite, the large wolf you can see in the print. Form him came Kawadelekala, the first wolf, second came Kwalili, the second brother, third came Hayalilegas, the only female, fourth came nanolakw. Kawadelekala eventually shed his animal form to become first of the Kingcome people which my family is directly descended form. These wolves are depicted in the circle of the print. In the centre of their circle is the world, for later on Kawadelekala and his brother, nanolakw got into a fight. Kawadelekala tore nanolakw up into small bits which turned into eagle down. He blew the down into the sky ad chanted 'ai,ai,ai', and in our ancient tongue said, 'Where ever your pieces will fall they will become nations, among themselves and within these nations they shall have and speak their own languages and have their own cultures'. The moon is depicted because of my passion and love for her, grandmother moon! The colours I chose together for myself creates a peaceful, yet strong flowing. The wolf being in the circles is important to me to honor the cycles of life, season, and it is also a reminder of how I believe I world to break the cycles of abuse as well." -- F.D.