Framed Art Card - Medicine Grounds (9" x 12")
Artist: Andy Everson
My people have always been intimately connected with their territory. They knew the best fishing spots, clamming beds and berry-picking places. This information was passed down through thousands of generations and was held as important and often sacred knowledge. When my mom was only about four years old she was given some of this knowledge. Her granny and her dad brought her out to one of our beaches here in the Comox Valley to pick some valuable medicine. My great-grandmother would clear areas around the plant to help with its propagation. She would pick with both hands—one to put the seeds in her apron and the other to spread the seeds and ensure future growth.
In English, they call it Indian Consumption Plant or Bare-Stem Desert-Parsley. We call it K’axamin. For people throughout our territory, this has always been an important medicine. It helps singers with their sore throats and provides relief from cough and tuberculosis. Used by individuals and on canoes, it also provides a form of protection that cannot be conveyed here in words.
This is the way it has always been—we gather our medicine from our own land. In recent times, however, fewer and fewer people have the knowledge about the healing plants and where to find them. By bringing members of my family out to pick, my mother has ensured that this treasure will be passed down to future generations. She has scattered her own seeds and propagated growth of the “Medicine Grounds.”
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.