Framed Art Card - Dominion (Thunderbird)
In Pentlatch legend, the mountains in the Beaufort range were home to a family of fabulous Thunderbirds. They could make lightning with their eyes and flap their wings to produce thunder. They could pick up whole whales with their immense talons and bring them back to their home to eat. In short, they held dominion over the skies.
Since the time of the flood, my ancestors have been able to look up to the mountains and see Queneesh, the glacier overlooking the Comox Valley. It is a symbol of our origins and is important to our territoriality. My ancestors were always keenly aware of their environment and were conscious of the supernatural world that also surrounded them. Although they recognized that they held dominion over their territory, they also acknowledged that this dominion was flexible. It was shared with animals on the land, in the sky and under the sea. It was under the influence of the supernatural world.
When Europeans came to this land, dominion became fixed and inflexible. Fences went up and lines were drawn on maps. The kings, and later queens, held the dominion. Under this dominion, the land has been transformed and the supernatural world has become hidden. Nobody sees the Thunderbirds come out to fly from our mountains anymore. They say that within a generation, nobody will see our glacier anymore, either. If only our old style of dominion could come back….
(9" x 12")