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Hunt, Calvin (b. 1956)

http://www.calvinhunt.com Cultural Group : Kwakwaka'wakw

Calvin Hunt, born in 1956 in Fort Rupert, BC is the youngest son of hereditary Kwakwaka'wakw chief Thomas Hunt, grandson of renowned carver Mungo Martin, and nephew of Henry Hunt.

Born into a wealth of traditional values, Calvin started woodcarving at the age of 12. From 1972 to 1981, Calvin carved full time as an apprentice with Tony Hunt Sr. (Arts of the Raven Gallery, Victoria, BC.). Moving to his ancestral home of Fort Rupert in 1981, Calvin and his wife, Marie, opened their carving workshop "The Copper Maker". In 1989 the workshop doubled in size and the retail art gallery "Kwakiutl Art of the Copper Maker Gallery" opened. The prophesy of the gallery's name has come true as he now has three full time artists at the workshop.

In May 1988, he carved and raised the Hunt Pole in Fort Rupert, with the assistance of his brothers, nephews and cousins, which is hereditarily owned by his oldest brother, George Hunt Sr. He also carved a memorial grave figure for his father at the Fort Rupert cemetery. These poles were the first such poles raised in the village in approximately 70 years.

With the resurgence of canoe building in 1993, Calvin and his nephew, Mervyn Child, carved a 32' Northern Style canoe which represented the Kwagu'l Nation at "Quatuwas" canoe gathering in Bella Bella. This canoe, named after his mother, "Maxwalaogwa", belongs to the Maxwalaogwa Canoe Society, formed by Calvin his wife, Marie. Calvin has also carved the 32' Northern Style "I-Hos", and 40' Northern Style "Ugwamalis Gixdan", with Mervyn's assistance. He has helped with the carving of a Manka canoe, and a 37' West Coast Style canoe from Quatsino. Calvin and Mervyn Child are currently carving a Head Canoe.

In 1995, during a potlatch given by Calvin and his brother, Ross Hunt Sr., he received his Chief's name, from his wife's side of the family, "Tlasutiwalis". In July of 1998, he was seated as the fourth primary Chief of the Mowachaht; the Hereditary Chieftainship, which belonged to his grandfather, Dr. Billy, of Tsuwana (Friendly Cove), his Chief s name being "Nas soom yees".

Calvin continues working in wood, including canoe building; silk-screened prints, gold and silver jewelry, as well as stone-carving.

He is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.