Weaving of Four Realms
‘Weaving of Four Realmsl’ by Lou-Ann Neel – First Nations Northwest Coast Kwakwaka’wakw Art presented by DaVic Gallery of Native Canadian Arts.
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Description by Artist: ‘Weaving of Four Realms’ is Kwagiulth spindle whorl that speaks to the interconnectedness and weaving together of the four realms in our historic Kwagiulth legends. The realm of the sky kingdom is represented by the mighty Thunderbird, one of the first ancestors of several of our Kwakwaka’wakw tribes. Thunderbird reminds us of the supernatural forces that surround us every day – forces that can influence us in powerful ways and help to guide us in our mortal world.
The realm of the animal kingdom is represented by the Bear who is also one the crest figures of families throughout the Kwakwaka’wakw peoples. Bear is just one of the many creatures that inhabit our forests, and reminds us that it is our responsibility to take care of the forests, not only for our own benefit, but for the benefit of the creatures that depend on these places for their homes. And the realm of the kingdom beneath the sea is represented by the Killerwhale, a being that has had a presence amongst our people since the beginning of time, and whose graceful, quiet ways remind us that we must also take care of the natural waterways throughout and around our territories.
Finally, the spindle whorl is enveloped with a cedar bark rope, from our Tree of Life, the red cedar. Cedar bark has many uses amongst our people and is used in all our ceremonies to demonstrate our connection to the spirit realm. Cedar bark has been prepared in this way since the dawn of time and reminds us of our obligation to pass our sacred teachings on to Future generations.
The spindle whorl itself is a reminder that all of these realms are indeed interconnected and cannot, nor should not, ever be separated, for they form an important part of our understanding of our world and ultimately, our purpose here.
Notes from DaVic Gallery: This Limited Edition silkscreen print titled “Weaving of Four Realms” by Lou-Ann Neel was published in December, 2007. It was hand produced by the screen-printing process. It is the only limited edition printing of this design. The artist was involved in the printmaking, checking the stencils and signing each copy in the edition: 200 signed and numbered copies, 20 artist’s proofs, 1 printer’s proof. 3 Hors de Commerce copies exist and are defaced and all other trial copies have been destroyed and the printing stencils obliterated.