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Artist / Maker : Dick, Francis
Title : Keepers of our Fires
Date (Execution) : 2001
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. Black, blue and purple circle with a bird on the top.
Accession # : U014.3.147
Width (cm) : 45.00
Height (cm) : 46.00
Depth (cm) :
Mandatory Credit : Gift from the Collection of George and Christiane Smyth
Artist Statement : "The center, bottom of the design represents a house of my ancestors. The image on the front is that of the wolf Kawadelekala, the first wolf of Kingcome Inlet, the wolf that my family descends from. There are hands on either side of the house, representing the hands of the head of this house. This would be a hereditary chief, in days of past. Out of the smoke hole of the house comes the smoke that transforms into faces of women in the upper right and lower right, part of the Raven's wing, below the beak is a silhouette of a woman's face, and inside the wing is also a face. There are four faces representing the four corners of house, and the four corners of the earth. There is also a full, purple moon under the first face, on the left hand side. It is important for me to acknowledge the moon in its powerful peacefulness. In my life it has been my mother and grandmother who were not only the keepers of our families, it was they who kept our families together. The keepers of our fires who kept our lives warm with their love and wisdom of who we are and where we come from. The Raven is wrapped around the entire image, representing a specific clan that my grandmother is a part of from Kingcome Inlet. After the death of my mother it was then my grandmother who worked to keep her family together. This painting is to honor the keepers of our fires from my past. And to honor the keepers of the fires in the present." --Francis Dick