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A Totem Pole History: The Work of Lummi Carver Joe Hillaire

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Published on Nov 12, 2013

A Totem Pole History: The Work of Lummi Carver Joe Hillaire
Lummi elder PaulineHillaire's new book, "A Totem Pole History: The Work of Lummi Carver Joe Hillaire" (U of Nebraska Press: Dec. 2013)encourages young native carvers to continue the tradition and educates the boarder audience. Joseph Hillaire (1894-1967) is recognized as one of the great Coast Salish artists, carvers and tradition-bearers of the 20th century.

The free presentation supports the preservation and revitalization of this Native Northwest knowledge-system.

Join carver Felix Solomon (Lummi/Haida) and editor Gregory Fields for a richly illustrated discussion of Hillaire's life and influence. Melonie Ancheta, an artist and specialist on Native Northwest Coast pigments and paint technology, will talk about her chapter "A Thin Red Line." Presentation includes images and readings from the book, along with audio and video samples from its accompanying media companion, "Coast Salish Totem Poles" (DVD and two audio CDs).

The book contains 76 photographs, including Joe's most significant totem poles, many of which Pauline Hillaire (Scälla - Of the Killer Whale) watched him carve. She conveys with great insight the stories, teachings, and history expressed by her father's totem poles.

Eight contributors to the book provide essays on topics ranging from Coast Salish art history and pigment technology to oral tradition, intercultural relations, and the central role of art in Coast Salish life.

Scälla prepared this historical record to encourage native artists, especially young people, to carry on traditional arts such as carving. The book and accompanying media companion also brings the work of a respected Salish carver to the attention of a broader audience.

December 4th presentors:

Greg Fields: Editor
Prof. Fields is a Research Associate of the American Indian Studies Research Institute at Indiana University Bloomington. Fields was awarded Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville's two-year Hoppe Research Professorship starting in July 2013 for his work involving collaborative publications, audio, and audio-visual media produced with Coast Salish culture-bearers, and for his efforts toward establishing a digital archive to support preservation and revitalization of native Northwest languages and knowledge-systems.

Melonie Ancheta: Artist, Pigment Specialist
A contributing author to "A Totem Pole History", Melonie Ancheta is recognized as an authority in the field of traditional pigments and paint technology of the Northwest Coast. As a professional NW Coast Native traditional materials and practices artist with works in collections and museums all over the world Melonie has a deep commitment to using, and educating about.

Felix Solomon: Lummi Carver
In an interview, Felix lends his voice to the others in this book speaking about how important the restoration of old Coast Salish/Lummi style work is to the body of knowledge and to perpetuation of his culture's artistic traditions. Solomon's goal is to bring Lummi art back to life through his carving and educating people and institutions about what Coast Salish/Lummi art is.

Photo Information: Pictured is Joseph Hillaire. Image: Museum of History and Industry, Seattle, 1961.

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