Haida Dogfish – Xaxada
‘Haida Dogfish – Xaxada’ by Bill Reid – First Nations Northwest Coast Haida Art presented by DaVic Gallery of Native Canadian Arts.
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Condition: Minor wrinkling from paper handling.
Description by Artist: No description by artist found.
Notes from DaVic Gallery: One of the most powerful supernatural beings of Haida mythology is the Dogfish Woman, who derives her shamanic powers from the dogfish. Like many Haida stories, the story of the Dogfish Woman is one of transformation and movement between the human and non-human realms. Among many other themes, this story speaks to the attraction between sexes, barriers between species, and lost love. A woman went travelling with her husband. She used to make fun of the dogfish. They went to visit a small rock in the sea. When they were out there, the dogfish, whose home the rock was, came and took the woman down into the sea. There she discovered that the dogfish were really people. They had taken off their dogfish blankets. After she had stayed in the house for some time, fins began to grow upon her arms, her legs, and her back. Her husband was searching for her everywhere, but he was not able to find her. After a number of years he found her. Her face had remained unchanged; but fins had grown on her arms, on her legs, on her back, and on her head. She never returned. Ever since that time her family have used the dogfish crest, and their house is called the Dogfish House.