northwest native american

Amulet in the shape of an orca, of the Tlingit people, Alaska.  Made from walrus tooth and haliotis mother-of-pearl.  Artist unknown; 18th or 19th century.  Now in the Museum Rietberg, Zurich.
Ghosts on the Highway
Lost in the desert, alone and off his meds, John Kalama just wants to get back to what's left of his family—his grandfather, Daryl Redbea...

Lost in the desert, alone and off his meds, John Kalama just wants to get back to what’s left of his family—his grandfather, Daryl Redbear and sister, Jesse—on the Nisqually Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. But on his journey he is pursued by demons, plagued by spirits and mocked by an arrogant raven. Unsure if these visions are real or the effect of withdrawal symptoms, will they help or hinder his quest for familial reconciliation and an acceptance of his cultural heritage?

Chuck Bradley is a man tormented by demons of his own. Endlessly driving across the country, hoping to outrace his own past and appease his guilty conscience, his life as a loner comes to a screeching halt when his path crosses with John’s.

Together the two of them confront their deepest fears and test the bonds of friendship as the highway carries them through a landscape more alive than either had previously realized. 

Bird mask of the Tsimshian people, used in initiation ceremonies.  Artist unknown; 19th century.  Collected in Nisga’a territory at the mouth of the Nass River, British Columbia, Canada; now in the Louvre.

Carvings and designs of the Haidah Indians

The Haidah Indians of the Queen Charlotte Islands

James G. Swan, gentleman of Port Townsend, Wash.
Washington: The Smithsonian Institution Press, 1874.

Haida crests, from tattoo designs.

The Mythology of All Races, vol. X. North American

Hartley Burr Alexander
Boston: Marshall Jones Co., 1915.

Naas shagi yeil s'aaxw (Raven at the Headwaters of Nass hat) from the Tlingit people of the Pacific Northwest.  Carved from maple; decorated with paint, shells, hair, and baleen.  Artist unknown; ca. 1810.  Now in the Seattle Art Museum.  Photo credit: Joe Mabel.