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Richard Hunt

Eagle and Bear totem pole

Eagle and Bear totem pole

This totem pole is made from second growth red cedar and is 8 feet tall and 20 inches thick.  

The figures are an Eagle, which is the main crest of my village in Fort Rupert, B.C.  Eagle is also used in the dance of the Animal Kingdom from the Sky.   Eagles figure prominently in Kwaguilth legends as they are found in abundance along the Northwest Coast.   The Eagle represents power and the favourite food is salmon.

The Bear is a crest of the Hunt family and is used in the dance of the Animal Kingdom from the Land.  The Bear is holding a man, which is a descendant of the Hunt family.  The Bear is also the Hamatsa (wild man) crest of my brother Henry Hunt Jr.  On the backside of the Bear is a Moon.  This is also a dance used by the Hunt family.  The Moon is carved upside down so when you look at it, it is looking at you.

Richard Hunt

Richard

I try to remember to thank our ancestors for keeping our traditions and culture alive.  They went through a lot of hardship for us.  The main influence in my artwork came from my father, Henry Hunt, as well as from Willie Seaweed's work.  These are the people who turned our works from being considered a craft to being regarded as historical art.  I believe the time has come to recognize our works as cultural property.

When I make something, I am claiming the rights to it for myself, and at the same time for our children and all  Kwakwaka'wakw people.  They are the ones who really own it.

I was thirteen when I decided that I wanted to be a carver.  My brothers and I had gone berry picking in Saanich to make money.  I dreamt of berries all that night, and woke up the next morning knowing that I wanted to be a carver like my dad.  My mother told me to go and learn from my father, and that's how I started, making little paddles and masks.  It was a hobby that turned into a way of making an income through my school years.  The more I carved, the more I realized that what I was carving came from my culture.  That is why I believe that what I create is cultural property and it is my job to educate the public about my culture as much as I can to keep it alive.

        to commission an artwork please call Richard at 250-889-1423 or via email richard@richardhunt.com