Framed Art Card - Eagle Down Dancer (9" x 12")
Artist: Andy Everson
Amongst the Kwakwaka’wakw people, the major dance order outside of our winter ceremonials is the Dłuwalaxa or Tła’sala. These dances have been primarily obtained through intermarriage with the northern tribes of the coast. Characteristic of the Tła’sala, or “peace dance,” is the Yaxwi’we’ headdress. It is a sublime manifestation of valuable items on the coast: a long white ermine train, intricately carved frontlet festooned with abalone shells and a crown of long sea lion whiskers. Gently placed in the top of the Yaxwi’we’ is a generous handful of eagle down. When danced, the Yaxwi’we’ releases its bounty to spread a peaceful blessing throughout the house.
One of my favourite names amongst the K’omoks people is Ḵa̱mxwalał. Translated, it means “Eagle Down Dancer.” I envision Ḵa̱mxwalał dancing on the beach in front of our K’omoks village. With graceful movement, the eagle down spirals up into the sky to spread peace throughout the territory.
About The Artist
Andy Everson was born in Comox B.C. in 1972 and named Nagedzi after his grandfather, Chief Andy Frank. His cultural interests lay with both his Comox and Kwakwaka'wakw ancestries and are expressed through dancing, singing, and even the pursuit of a Master's degree in anthropology. Andy feels that my artwork stands on par with these other accomplishments.
Although he began drawing Northwest Coast art at an early age, his first serious attempt wasn't until 1990 when He started designing and painting chilkat-style blankets for use in potlatch dancing. From these early self-taught lessons he has tried to follow in the footsteps of m Kwakiutl relatives in creating bold and unique representations that remain rooted in the age-old traditions of his ancestors.