Killerwhale Crest Mask

Killerwhale is my primary crest, known as Dawklawedi. I am an inland Tlingit through, so I knew very little about the whale until my grandfather took us each summer from the mining village where I grew up to a fishing village where he would tell us stories every night. He was a coastal Tlingit from Juneau, Alaska, and my grandmother was Tagish-inland Tlingit.

My grandfather told me that I should always depict the whale breaching with his head high, as a sign of life. We were also told that when we were on the water and saw the whales breaching, we should turn away when the tail is about to submerge, for luck and as a sign of respect.

Year: 2007
Medium: Birch, acrylic paint
Size: 22 × 12 × 7 inches