• Hummingbird and Bear

Hummingbird and Bear

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  • 24 x 20 inches
    Silkscreen on Stonehenge Rag Paper
    Edition size: 70

    This design depicts the legend of a hummingbird, who, while out gathering nectar from flowers, encountered a bear. This bear was something of a bully, and wouldn’t allow the hummingbird to get near the flowers. Hummingbird tried again and again but the bear blocked her every time. Frustrated, the hummingbird gathered some twigs and flew inside the bear’s nose and down into his stomach, where she used the twigs to start a fire and then flew back outside. With smoke wafting from his nose and mouth, the bear ran away into the forest and never bothered hummingbird again. This legend teaches us that even great obstacles can be overcome.

    The design is in the shape of a cedar bentwood box, which was widely used by all the tribes on the Northwest coast. They were used as storage containers, cooking vessels and were stacked to serve as walls inside the big-house. The sides were made from a single red cedar blank that was “kerfed” so that it could be steam bent and would be water tight. The lid was often decorated with operculum shells that were inlaid in a pattern. The boxes were painted with elaborate designs that are the foundation of Northwest Coast Native “flat design.” David has studied the work of the master artists on the early bentwood boxes, which has influenced his hand engraved jewelry designs, and inspired the design for this print.

In addition to traditional Kwakiutl designs, David has created Contemporary Indigenous prints that represent the issues and history of our time. He believes that Northwest Native American traditional art is a foundation to build upon, not a boundary to restrain creativity..

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