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Native Regions of the Pacific Northwest

British Columbia and Vancouver Island

Northwest Coast natives are considered six ethnographically distinct peoples, the Coast Salish, the Nuu-Chah-Nulth (or "Nootka"), the Kwak-Waka'wakw  (Kwagiutl), the Tsimshian, the Haida and the Tlinglit. The art carried in the Judy Hill Gallery represents all of these regions with the exception of the Tlinglit.


As a general overview, the Haida inhabited the Queen Charlotte Islands. On the west coast of Vancouver Island lived the Nuu-Chah-Nulth ("Nootka"), while the Kwak-Waka'wakw (Kwagiutl) inhabited the north region of Vancouver Island and the mainland directly opposite. The Salish occupied the delta of the Frasier River and some southern parts of Vancouver Island, and were distributed southward down the Washington coast; one of the groups of Salish people occupied territory to the north near Bella Coola River.


Coast Salish

The Coast Salish inhabited the coast of the mainland from Bute Inlet in British Columbia to the Columbia River, dividing Washington and Oregon and those areas on Vancouver Island not occupied by the Kwak-Waka'wakw (Kwaguitl) and the Nuu-Chah-Nulth ("Nootka"), from Johnstone Straight to Port San Juan. They also occupied vast areas of western Washington state.

Coast Salish artists were imaginative artists with an ancient woodworking tradition. Coast Salish artists represented in the gallery are:

Simon Charlie

Leo Mitchell

Pauline Joe

Luke Marsten

Leighton Antoine

Madeline Modeste

Don Smith

Francis Louie

Pat Norris

Garry Thomas

Travis Henry

Ed Jack

Glen Edwards

Richard Krentz

Doug Lafortune

Gus Modeste

Detreck George

Francis Horne

Linda Charlie

Norm Mitchell

 

Brian Bob


Nuu-Cha-Nuth ("Nootka")

This region covers the western coastline of Vancouver Island. The art of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth has a flowing flexible look and is a distinctive art that is moving in new directions while keeping strongly in touch with its past. Nuu-Chah-Nulth artists represented in the gallery are:

Art Thompson

Russel Swift

Frances Edgar

Cecil Billy

Mike Thompson

Peter Billy

Kevin Touchie

William Kuhnley

Francis Lucus


Kwak-Waka'wakw (Kwagiutl)

This region covers the northeastern coastal tip of Vancouver Island and the British Columbia coastline somewhat north of Vancouver past but not including Bella Coola. Kwak-Waka'wakw carvings tend to have a strong, bold look with deep cut areas. Face masks are robust with features emphasized by painting. Kwak-Waka'wakw artists represented in the gallery are:

Alfred Robertson

Paddy Seaweed

David Robertson

Norman Seaweed

Richard Hunt

Don Lancaster

Eugene Hunt

Harold Alfred

Jonathan Henderson

Debra Bell

 

 


Tsimshain (‘Ksan)

The Skeena River and the Nass River frame this region on the British Columbia coast. Described as the 'Ksan style, the Tsimshain are known for their exceptionally fine silk-screening and use of traditional elements. Tsimshain artists represented in this gallery are:

Merlin Robinson

Roger Gray

 


Haida

This region is centered on the Queen Charlotte Islands in northern British Columbia. The art is best known of the cultural styles and its bold, uncluttered look has become a standard. Haida artists represented in the gallery are:

Garner Moody

Victoria Moody

Reg. Davidson

Isabel Rorrick

 

 

See some Haida Masks pictured at the Canadian Heritage Website


For a map of all BC First Nations Regions, go to the B.C. Museum of Anthropology's Regional Map by clicking here.


For an overview of the history of the First Nations in BC, go to the Canadian Encyclopedia entry of People of the Northwest Coast by clicking here.