Chilko Basecamps has a new logo!

 
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Chilko Basecamps has a new logo and we're very excited about it!

 

The logo was purchased from prominent Coast Salish artist Maynard (Thii Haywqtun) Johnny Jr.

The logo was adapted for us from one of his previous paintings on a elk hide drum that caught our eye with its beautiful colours and symbolism.

 Photo from Maynard's Facebook Page.

Photo from Maynard's Facebook Page.

 
 
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The creature in the image is a Thunderbird and to understand the logo is to understand the legend behind it. The Thunderbird is a well-known figure in First Nation mythology and story telling; it was often a prominent crest for many of the prestigious hereditary Chiefs.

Similar looking to the eagle, the Thunderbird has curly horns and is depicted in much of First Nation art with lightning or snakes in its wings or with an orca in it's talons. The Thunderbird lived on mountain tops and had the ability to summon the weather; including lightning and thunder.

The myth of the Thunderbird and the Killer Whale is legendary as far as stories of the First Peoples go. The Killer whale (orca) chased the salmon away as they fed on the returning fish. With the resident Killer whale chasing the fish away, the people were beginning to starve. The Thunderbird, seeing this plight from high atop his mountain perch, swooped down and plucked the Killer whale from the sea and carried away. In some of the stories, the sound of thunder is from when the Killer whale was dropped back in the sea. 

On his drum, Maynard Johnny depicts the orca in the eye of the Thunderbird and the whale's blood is spattered on the drum. It's a powerful image. The Coast Mountains, dominated by soaring peaks and foaming pacific seas, are symbolized incredibly by the Thunderbird and the Killer Whale.  

 

Though coastal First Nation art has for decades caught the eye of collectors throughout BC and the world, the symbolic story of the Thunderbird is a big part of why this painting drew us to it. This company is not owned and operated by First Nation individuals and cultural appropriation is something we want to me mindful of. After years of forced assimilation, cultural repression and the atrocities of colonialism on First Nations peoples (such as residential schools) , we want to support indigenous culture through language, education, and art, such as this logo.

We're very thankful for Maynard's work and we will be sharing more about him and his work on this blog soon!

Found this interesting? Learn more through our First Nations cultural programs. 

Sam McKoy