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U990.14.331
Artist / Maker : Hamilton, Ron ; Haa'yuups; Haupquatchew
Title : Ahousaht Memorial
Date (Execution) : c. 1980
Geographical Origin : Vancouver Island; British Columbia; Canada
Cultural Group : Opetchesaht, Nuu-chah-nulth
Style / Period : Contemporary 1950 -
Medium / Material  : Serigraph
Support / Technique : Paper
Object Type : screen prints
Visual Description : Seven figures (five children, a man and a woman) in a canoe rising from the water beneath into the sky; a rainbow curves near the bow of the canoe and stretches up to a faint yellow star; red paddles and black canoe; blue waves below.
Accession # : U990.14.331
Width (cm) : 76.00
Height (cm) : 56.50
Depth (cm) : 0.00
Mandatory Credit : Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Grant, Purchased from the Collection of Vincent Rickard
Artist Statement : The man who was the high chief of our tribe at the time this print was made was named Corbett George (Hayuuaumshilthii). He was a good friend of mine as was his father and family members. Just before this print was made his house burned down and he lost all of his children but one as well as his wife and a good friend in the fire. At the grief potlatch (Thlaakt'uultha) to mark this event the chief asked the artist to make something that he could give away for everyone to have in their home. He gave one of these prints to everyone in the family. The rest were destroyed. The image of the canoe rising into the sky represents losing control of things from this world. We believe in four great realms - land, sea, sky and the place beyond the horizon which is a place beyond understanding. We are a sea faring people and so this is an image of a canoe rising up to a star, the ultimate destination (Thli'mak). We believe that we are made up of highly focused energy during life and after death that life force or soul ultimately joins life in the stars (Tawinisim). These stars form a line across the sky which is the Milky Way. This print is the printer's proof edition and was given to the University of Victoria by the printer Vincent Rickard. (Ron Hamilton's words above were transcribed by Caroline Riedel and approved by Ron, August 2017).