04 Jul Miniature House Post
Standing proudly, overlooking the Great Hall, the traditional carvings represent the families of our Nations. They all have different functions and stories attached to them.
The miniature house post stands overlooking both the Gift Shop & Gallery and the Great Hall which is designed after the Longhouse, the traditional home of the Squamish Nation. It showcases both the Owl and the Salmon – two important animals to both of our nations.
The older longhouses were meant to be partially portable. When the families moved from their summer house to their winter house they took the siding and roofing along with them. The large size cedar planks required specialized knowledge and time to find the right tree to produce. The families took great care to avoid damaging them. They left behind the support structure to hold their spot while they were gone. Some of the homes would carve out the four corner posts to represent different stories.
This miniature house post, made out of yellow cedar, was carved by Xwalactun – Rick Harry of the Squamish and Kwakiutl decent in 2009. He worked with our Aboriginal Youth Ambassadors sharing his knowledge with everyone who stopped in for a visit.
At the top sits an owl, to the local First Nations communities it is a messenger of death an important part of the circle of life. To non-native people the owl appears as wisdom.
The lower half is the Salmon in different stages of life. Salmon represents abundance, fertility and wealth. It was the main source of food for both the Squamish and Lil’wat Nation.
This piece is meant to create opportunities to talk about the relationship between people and the land. It is a message of hope and encouragement, so that we work together to make changes to reduce our consumption, creating less waste and protecting the environment for future generations.
“We need to smarten up or we’re going to lose all of the fish.” -Xwalacktun