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U990.14.649
Artist / Maker : Point, Susan A.
Title : Coast Salish Spindle Whorl The Whale People
Date (Execution) : May 1981
Geographical Origin : Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Cultural Group : Coast Salish, Musqueam
Style / Period :
Medium / Material  : Serigraph
Support / Technique : paper
Object Type : screen prints
Visual Description :
Accession # : U990.14.649
Width (cm) : 68.00
Height (cm) : 83.00
Depth (cm) : 0.00
Mandatory Credit : Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Grant, Purchased from the Collection of Vincent Rickard
Artist Statement : The Whale People: A long time ago the "Musqueam Tribe" (who are Coast Salish Indians), had to choose two of their fastest warriors to run to a lookout point every morning to watch for enemy war canoes from the northern villages. While on watch one day, two runners noticed, what appeared to be people, down on the beach. Cautious, the runners crept closer and saw that it was a group of whales with their with their qwalow', (or skins) pulled down over their shoulders revealing their human form. These people were called "Whale People". One of the runners, hoping to capture one of these people, raced toward the "Whale People". Slipping back into their qwalow', the "Whale People" headed back into the water, but the runner being as fast as he was got ahold of one of the "Whale People's" qwalow' leaving his human form to escape. The runner was warned by his partner that he should return the qwalow' to the "Whale People" otherwise bad luck might come upon him. Disappointed, and ignoring this partner, the runner took the qwalow' home. That night the runner began having terrible nightmares and in the days that followed, more nightmares and misfortune, so he decided to return the qwalow' to the "Whale People". The "Whale People" were very greatful [sic] to the runner for returning the qwalow', and from that day on the runner was bestowed with good luck.