Framed Art Card - Guardian (Bear)
Bears in my culture are often seen as guardians. During the T’seka ceremony, for instance, members of the Grizzly Bear Society traditionally watched over the proceedings and were the guardians of the Hamatsa Society. For the Comox people, the Grizzly Bear is one of our main crests and represents our community and it represents our strength. We are able to draw on that strength and protect our culture in the face of colonization and modernization.
In “Guardian,” the bear is rendered in the chilkat style. My Grandmother’s Great Grandmother was a noblewoman and chilkat weaver from the Tongass Tlingit. In my culture, this lineage gives me the right and privilege to design and wear chilkat garments. During potlatches, great chiefs were the ones who wore the chilkat tunics. They continue to wear these to this day to not only show who they are and where they come from, but as a form of ceremonial and spiritual protection. All of our most sacred and serious business happens in the Bighouse and, as such, the tunic acts as a protective mantle, holding up the wearer with ceremonial wealth and guardianship.
(9" x 12")