"Art of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest Coast"
"Ghost of Ninstints"
(pen&ink/acrylic 8 3/4 x 12 3/4)
drawing time - 234 hours
Original - $3,200 U.S
This drawing of an eagle totem is based on an eagle figure from the top of a pole in Prince Rupert, B.C. which was derived from a pole from the village of Ninstints in the Queen Charlotte Islands. The Kunghit Haida originally raised a pole at Ninstints Village that featured images of the Eagle and Raven clans. This pole, of course, was carved in traditional Haida style and after many years fell victim to the ravages of the northwest climate.
In 1935, the pole was among several brought to Prince Rupert in an effort to preserve them. A Tsimshian carver named William Jeffrey was commissioned to carve a reproduction of the original Haida pole and blended his native style with that of the Haida. When I first saw this particular pole, I was taken by its loftiness and the shading on the beak as seen from below. I imagined what it would look like with the original Haida color scheme and decided that I would one day draw it that way. The blending of these two styles has made for a very distinctive and dramatic image.
There are some historical coincidences involving the original pole that I find quite fascinating and symbolically relate to this drawing. The name of the village of Ninstints is actually a corruption by Europeans of the name of the head chief of the village, "Nan stins". He was of the eagle clan and his name means "He who is two". In "Ghost of Ninstints" the eagle figure from the pole has a hat with two "skils" or rings which denote a person of rank. Since the pole in Prince Rupert combines two cultural styles as does this drawing, it is only fitting that "He who is two" lives on in the title.
"Ghost of Ninstints" was completed with acrylic and thousands of hand-placed dots of ink. It is only available as an original at this time. I am considering publishing it as a limited edition print and would be grateful for your input on this matter. Please let me know what you think by sending me an e-mail with your opinion. Thank you.
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