Weget’s Wife

Artist:
Ken Mowatt, See available art.
Gender:
Male
Style:
Northwest Coast
Community:
Northwest, See available art.
Art Type:
Print
Collection:
1976
Medium:
Serigraph on Kozo paper
Edition:
Signed Limited Edition Print # 30 of 50
Size (in):
Paper (H x W): 33 ¾ x 25 in, 86 x 64 cm
Size (cm):
Framed:
Not Framed, please enquire
Product ID:
11700-00439

$600.00

Available!

Description

Condition:       2 mat tapes on top edge 3/4” long.  Faint but visible mat burn. Both issues can be covered with new mat.  Very Good condition overall.

Description by Artist:     No description available.

Notes from DaVic Gallery:    This is first time I see a Northwest Coast serigraph printed on rice paper that is more commonly used with Inuit Stonecut and stencil.  Beautifully preserved and with bright and sharp colours and lines.

Raven (Txeemsim or Wegyet): Raven is the culture hero of the Gitxsan and other Northwest Coast tribes. He is a revered and benevolent transformer figure who helps the people and shapes their world for them, but at the same time, he is also a trickster character and many Gitxsan stories about Raven have to do with his frivolous or poorly thought out behavior getting him into trouble.

Weget and the Box of Daylight

A long time ago there was Weget. Weget was called Raven and he had a power. Weget could transform into anything he wanted to. This was his power.

A long time ago the world was covered in darkness. There was no light; no sun, no moon, no stars, no fire. The world was always dark. Because the world was always dark, it was very hard on the people. They could not find their food. Sometimes they would get lost.  Sometimes they would have terrible accidents in the darkness. Life was very hard and the people were crying.

Weget heard the people crying and felt sorry for them. He knew they needed something to help them see in the world. He knew they needed light. He knew he must get light for the people to make life better for them.   Weget knew there was a man who lived in a house far to the north and in his house was a box and in the box was light. Weget decided to go to that man and have him give that light to the world.  Weget flew for a long time to the north. He came to the man’s house and he knocked on the door. An old man answered the door and asked, “What do you want, Weget?”  Weget said, “I know you have light in that box in your house. You should give that light to the world so that people can see.”  The old man said, “NO! The light is mine and is for no one else. I will not give my light to the world! Get away from my door, Weget! Do not bother me again!” And with that he slammed the door on Weget.  Weget thought, “That man is very selfish. He will not share the light and doesn’t care about the suffering of the people. If he will not give it, I will take it from him.”   And so Weget planned to take the light from the man. Every day Weget would watch the man’s house. And every day he saw something. Every day at the exact same time the door of the house would open and the daughter of the man would walk out the door carrying a water box. She would walk down to the river and dip the box into the water. She would take a small sip of the water from the box and then return to the house. Every day she did the exact same thing at the exact same time.

Weget had a plan.

One day just before the time the daughter would come out of the house Weget went upstream from the house and transformed himself into a pine needle. He placed himself into the water and floated slowly down the river towards the house. Just then the daughter opened the door and came out carrying the water box. She dipped it into the water and with the water was also the pine needle. She took a sip of water from the box and also drank in the pine needle. Then she went back into the house, unaware of what she had done.  Within a few days the young woman was pregnant and within a few more days a baby was born. Everyone loved the baby especially the Grandfather. Within a few more days the baby was crawling on the floor and with a few more days the baby was walking.   One day the baby walking up to the box sitting in the middle of the house and pointed at the box and began crying. He cried and cried for what was in the box.  “No, little one”, said the Grandfather. “What is in the box is for me only. No one may have what is in the box. Go play, grandson. Leave the box alone.”   The next day the baby went to the box and pointing at it began to cry again.   The Grandfather said again, “No, little one. You may not have what is in the box. It is for me only. Go play somewhere else.”   The third day the baby went to the box and cried again. The grandfather loved his little grandson and felt sorry for him. He picked up the baby and carried him to the box. He opened the lock that held the box shut showing the baby how the lock worked. He then opened the box lid and light shot from the box, lighting up the room.  Then the grandfather closed the lid and locked the box. “You see, little grandson? That is what is in the box. It is for me only and no one else.”  The next day the baby went to the box, but this time he turned himself back into Weget, the black bird Raven. He get a bag and unlocked the lid. He opened the lid and reached his hand into the box taking out the sun and putting it into the bag. He took out the moon and put it in the bag. And he took out the stars and put them into the bag.

He then flew out of the smoke hole in the roof of the house. He flew high into the sky. He opened the bag and put the sun in the sky. He put the moon in the sky. He shook the bag across the sky and put the stars in their place.

Thus Weget brought light into the world.