Pookmiss Comes Back
‘Pookmiss Comes Back’ by Art Thompson – First Nations Northwest Coast Nuu-chah-nulth Art presented by DaVic Gallery of Native Canadian Arts.
Condition: Custom mat.
Description by Artist: “The story that I was told of Pookmiss goes this way. In the time of the whalers, the men who went whaling were well prepared both mentally and physically. It is the physical aspect that refers to the return of Pookmiss. The whale hunters prepared for the hunt for many days, physically they were sound. During the hunt, once the whale was spotted, the pursuit was on. Along side the whale the harpooner embedded his points. There would be a sudden lunge downward by the whale. It is during this instant that the occupants of the canoe took great care. In one instance this care was neglected, a paddler went overboard. The importance of the whale was noticeable at this point; the paddler was ignored. After many hours in the water, no land in sight, he is overcome by the cold and strength of the ocean. He drowns. His body, after many days adrift, finally washes onto a beach. During the hours of first light, he comes back to life. His body is drastically changed, no long is his skin brown, it is now a dull grey from being in the water so long. He no longer has hair, tattered feathers hide his head. In the centre of this serigraph is the whale, the mammal responsible for Pookmiss’ creation. The orange and yellow background are the colours of the daybreak that brought him back to life. The circle rainbow was in the sky after his revival.” – Art Thompson