Print View  |  Add to Cart

U014.3.472
Artist / Maker : Peterson, Andy ; (formerly Wilbur)
Title : Bear
Date (Execution) : undated
Geographical Origin : Washington, United States
Cultural Group : Coast Salish, Skokomish , Squaxin
Style / Period : Contemporary 1950 -
Medium / Material  : Serigraph
Support / Technique : paper
Object Type : screen prints
Visual Description : First Nations design for a bentwood box with a crouching figure of a bear in blue, tan and black ink.
Accession # : U014.3.472
Width (cm) : 66.00
Height (cm) : 46.00
Depth (cm) :
Mandatory Credit : Gift from the Collection of George and Christiane Smyth
Artist Statement : "Now they were having a big time down there on the Puget Sound, those four frogs. They were all croaking, singing, and carrying on. It was getting on late summer, the days were growing shorter, and Black Bear was foraging for food. Everyone knows that the frogs were one of Bear's favorite foods. Now Blue Jay and Bear were friends, and they both liked to be the host, putting up good meals for each other. Bear was getting sleepy, and was looking for more food to tide him over for the winter months. The frogs were already burrowing themselves into the mud, where they stay frozen for the duration of the winter. Bear was getting even more desperate, not being able to find them. Now Blue Jay was a wheeler and dealer, always looking to take someone for a meal. He was sort of a glutton, that Blue Jay was. Bear was getting all the more tired and every time he would come close to those frogs, they would pull themselves deeper into the mud, and would not make a noise. Blue Jay, watching this from the top of an old cedar tree, swooped down to talk to Bear, and asked, "Are you hungry, my friend? Come to my lodge and I will make you some tadpole soup." So they went to Blue Jay's stump (lodge), which was at the base of that old cedar tree. Upon arrival, Blue jay says to Bear, "Oh, oh, oh, there's a hole in my water box, and all my tadpoles are gone." So Bear started a fire and cut his paw to drip some grease for Blue Jay, his friend. Now that Blue Jay had his belly full of grease, he laid himself back on a root, and said, "My friend, that was good. May I return the favor? I have been watching from atop my house and I know that you see poorly, let me be your eyes. There are four frogs at the base of my look out, and thy have buried themselves deep in the mud. Tomorrow I will show you where they're at. Now go home my friend, and sleep, and I will see you then." Bear had gone home now and Blue Jay goes out and propositions those four frogs. He tells them that Bear is coming in the morning and he knows where you are! If you were to see your way clear to give me some of your tadpoles, I will distract him. So the frogs agreed, and said, "Come back in the morning." Now daylight came, and Bear was ready. Blue Jay told Bear that the frogs have buried themselves in the mud. "When I tell you to jump, you jump real hard in the mud, and they will just ooze out, tadpoles and all. You will get your fill and I will get mine." So they went outside and Blue Jay shouted, "Jump," and Bear began to jump. Blue Jay got so excited at seeing so many tadpoles that he got in the way of Bear. Bear, not seeing so well, grabbed his friend by the top of his head and pulled his hair out. (That's how Blue Jay got his top notch). The frogs nearly pulled him under the mud. (That's why Blue Jay hops). This story helps us remember not to be greedy!" Story told by Andy Wilbur Andy Wilbur originally painted these designs on the two primary sides of a bentwood box.