By Hillaire, Joe; Fields, Gregory P.; Hillaire, Pauline
Joseph Hillaire (Lummi, 1894–1967) is well-known as one of many nice Coast Salish artists, carvers, and tradition-bearers of the 20 th century. In A Totem Pole History, his daughter Pauline Hillaire, Scälla–Of the Killer Whale (b. 1929), who's herself a well known cultural historian and conservator, tells the tale of her father’s existence and the conventional and modern Lummi narratives that motivated his work.
A Totem Pole History includes seventy-six pictures, together with Joe’s most important totem poles, a lot of which Pauline watched him carve. She conveys with nice perception the tales, teachings, and background expressed by means of her father’s totem poles. 8 participants supply essays on Coast Salish paintings and carving, including to the author’s portrayal of Joe’s philosophy of paintings in Salish lifestyles, quite within the context of 20th century intercultural relations.
This enticing quantity offers an historic checklist to inspire local artists and brings the paintings of a revered Salish carver to the eye of a broader audience.
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Extra info for A totem pole history : the work of Lummi carver Joe Hillaire
In the old days they made everything from the cedar tree. It answered every need. They called it the tree of life. They treated it with honor and respect. ” There was an immediate exchange. There were special words for different aspects of life, and Pauline described her father’s beautiful language through Indian song and prayer. Artistic and creative expression is often demonstrated more through the body, emotions, and subtle forms of communication rather than through words. Pauline indicated that words can detract from the beauty of the inner experience of the artist or spiritual person.
There were many stories of heroism and generosity, but they were not in the public record. In return, his own people had been treated criminally, yet he still believed that most people want to act in good faith. He didn’t preach or demand but worked silently and effortlessly, making learning seem natural and opening her mind to new questions. Joe Hillaire had incredible vision and influence: he was a leader in tribal politics and restoration; he danced for Theodore Roosevelt; he recorded songs and stories for the Library of Congress with Willard Rhodes; he was an international ambassador to Kobe, Japan, after World War II, carving a pole to represent healing between indigenous people of the United States and nations of the Pacific; and he served as an ambassador for the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle, carving two story poles, Man in Transition and Land in the Sky, with symbolic messages that embraced ancient tradition and the modern space age, earth and sky, past and future, and the potentials and quest of the human spirit.
That’s where he is now. The dead are not powerless. They are powerful. Pauline’s book Rights Remembered offers a sensitive perspective on how we can acknowledge and begin to reverse generations of abuse and thoughtlessness against indigenous peoples and the ecological fabric of life on earth. What are the long-term consequences of historical inequity, appropriation, and abuse? Can social justice and psychological healing begin when we witness and begin to heal the wounds of the past? Pauline has asked us to join her and to begin a collective journey of understanding, renewal, and transformation.
A totem pole history : the work of Lummi carver Joe Hillaire by Hillaire, Joe; Fields, Gregory P.; Hillaire, Pauline