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U990.14.726
Artist / Maker : Modeste, Rod
Title : Thunderbird Spirits
Date (Execution) : n.d.
Geographical Origin : British Columbia, Canada
Cultural Group : Coast Salish
Style / Period : Contemporary 1950 -
Medium / Material  : Serigraph
Support / Technique : paper
Object Type : screen prints
Visual Description : Two figures printed in red, black, green and blue. One figure is that of the Thunderbird, large and facing to the right, the other is the profile of a human.
Accession # : U990.14.726
Width (cm) : 50.30
Height (cm) : 37.50
Depth (cm) : 0.00
Mandatory Credit : Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Grant, Purchased from the Collection of Vincent Rickard
Artist Statement : "When I was a child my mother used to tell me bedtime stories, this being one of them, called, 'Thunderbird Spirit.' In various villages, elders paid special attention to the younger children as they grew up. When they reached puberty, the Shaman, (or Medicine Man), chose from a selected group. During the trial period of the chosen person, when the Shaman felt confident that he was ready, he was sent to the mountains in preparation for the final test. During his seclusion, he was told to say prayers to the Great Spirit and to bathe every day; he also had to fast. In his sleep he would experience many visions. It was during this period, if the person had successfully performed the rituals, that the Thunderbird Spirit would momentarily appear, and as it ascended, it would drop three or four eagle downs. This was the crucial part of the test. The initiate must choose one eagle down only, each of the feathers having greater power than the others. If he was wise, the choice he made would decide his career with the people of his village. But if he was greedy, he would take all of the feathers, and would gain nothing."