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U990.14.227
Artist / Maker : Dick, Francis
Title : Kank'alanukw
Date (Execution) : 1989
Geographical Origin : Gwayi (Kingcome Inlet); British Columbia; Canada
Cultural Group : Dzawada̱ʼenux̱w (Tsawataineuk), Kwakwaka'wakw
Style / Period : Western Modern 1900-1950
Medium / Material  : Serigraph
Support / Technique : paper
Object Type : screen prints
Visual Description : Sea and landscape image of a large white moon in a red sky over looking the water with a white bird figure {left} sticking its head under the water. Mountains and trees in the background.
Accession # : U990.14.227
Width (cm) : 64.00
Height (cm) : 47.90
Depth (cm) : 0.00
Mandatory Credit : Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Grant, Purchased from the Collection of Vincent Rickard
Artist Statement : "After designing my third print Gwa'yi, I felt compelled to design another Kingcome story. I heard the story of kank'alanukw, not a legend but an actual event with one of our first Dzawadaenuxw peoples that happened far in our past during a potlatch. There was a dance called 'madam'. 'Madam' is a legend about a boy who acquires the ability to fly through the power of the quartz crystals, the 'madams' treasure (dluqwe') was a loon. For the potlatch, high-ranking men built and designed a large wooden loon; they put the loon into the lake (kank'alanukw) and they got inside the loon and manipulated it in such a way that this wooden loon would dive into the water and back up all in one motion. During the potlatch this action continued for some time, then something went wrong inside. The men who were in the loon drowned. Now a mistake like this was very shameful: any malfunction in a potlatch ceremony is said to have 'udzaxid'. The shame is felt to great extremes. Because of the failure of the dluqwe', the families of the men who drowned jumped into kank'alanukw to take their own lives. In the summer of '86 I took a trip to Kank'alanukw. I wanted to see where the place where this incredible story happened. I felt a real magic and power, not a feeling of sadness, sorrow or shame, but a feeling of pride and strength that Native people once shared. It is said that when the moon is full you can hear drumming of wood banging wood, the madam song. In this print you can see the full moon, where all the magic happens. The bank under the tree line shows touching hands, a significant symbol for me, my dream of our people uniting in mind and spirit once again as it was in our past. Also in the print you see moving islands because at Kank'alanukw there are small islands that drift around the lake. Finally you see the loon taking its dive. The story of Kank'alanukw is a special, powerful and magical story." --F.D.