Thunderbird, Whale Canoe

Serigraph: Ink on Paper

7.25" X 23.75"

Artist/Curatorial Statement

This design of a Cowichan canoe illustrates an old story from the Cowichan Valley that has inspired many a design, including my own interpretation in the Answer to the Call drum and print.

The story relates the plight of starving and dying people of many villages along the Cowichan river. A whale, caught in the bay at the mouth of the river, is eating all the salmon before they come up the river. So the villagers call upon the Thunderbird, known to prey on Killerwhales, to come and take the whale away. In doing so, Thunderbird allows the salmon to swim up river and the villagers to feed on them and end the starvation.

Maynard Johnny Jr.