Memorial Rainbow Drum

Northwest Coast
Art Type
Signed Limited Edition Print # 91 of 222
Size (in)
Paper (H x W): 24 x 19 in / Frame (H x W x D): 28 x 27 x 1 ½ in
Size (cm)
Paper (H x W): 61 x 48 cm / Frame (H x W x D): 71 x 69 x 4 cm
Product ID



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Memorial Rainbow Drum’ by Joe David – First Nations Northwest Coast Nuu-chah-nulth Art presented by DaVic Gallery of Native Canadian Arts.

Condition: Fine condition. Print is framed with triple acid free mat. Frame is metallic and black in color and shows some scratches.

Frame: Please note that for safety reasons, print can be shipped framed without glass within Canada only.  Shipments outside Canada will include print and mat with both frame and glass removed.  Alternatively, glass may be replaced with resistant acrylic transparent glass that is safe for shipping at additional cost.  Please inquire.

Description by Artist: No description by artist is available.

Notes from DaVic Gallery:Memorial Rainbow Drum‘ was conceived in relation to a memorial potlatch for Hyacinth David Sr. Joe originally painted a different version of this design on a drum which was given away at the potlatch. The figures represent a man transforming into a raven form, the old transformation masks which opened up to reveal an inner figure. It is shown with the rainbow flashing across the wings of the raven. The rainbow is often used as a symbol of transition between life and death in old Nootka painting. The incredible continuity between the rainbow curvatures carried through the lower part of the design make this print very dynamic visually.

The creator placed a rainbow in the sky after the great flood. The rainbow in many cultures is a sign of inclusiveness, hope, pride and diversity

Drummers are known to congregate and play individual hand drums together. The use of a single drum was traditionally isolated to a few groups, such as the Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl), who are known to have used a single wooden plank struck by multiple players. As in other regions, the drum is used to begin and to mark certain points within a song. Some indigenous people of the Northwest Coast utilize the drum to indicate the presence of spirits. For example, a tremolo created by rapidly striking the drumhead can be perceived as an audible manifestation of a spirit being’s presence. Aside from use within the potlatch setting, drums are employed by shamans—powerful individuals who have the ability to move in the liminal space between this world and others, communicating with spirit guides. Many of the musical instruments used on the Northwest Coast can be associated with shamanic practice. Often, a physical representation of a shaman’s spirit guide is carved in the form of a rattle or whistle, as an effigy used to invoke the spirit’s power.

Transformation is at the heart of Northwest Coast Native art and supernatural power. Supernatural beings and ancestors possessing special powers are often depicted with the attributes of two or more beings, indicating their ability to transcend ordinary limitations.

The Raven is the transformer, trickster and creator. Known in legends as the one who released the sun, moon, and stars; discovered man in a clamshell; brought the salmon and the water; and taught man how to fish and hunt. Raven is known as the sky messenger of the animal kingdom. The Raven is famous for being a somewhat mischievous glutton. He was always out to please himself and have a good time, but his adventures always ended up bettering mankind.