Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

“migrating shaman”


I always try to utilize as much of the original stone as possible. This piece of stone is pretty much the original shape as I started with. Because of the flatness of both sides, I knew that there would be two images.

I could see a person and at the same time I could see a fish. So I decided to mix them together and make it a shaman.

Like many creatures, migration is a part of life for fish, bears, caribou, and people. Inuit are known to be nomadic as they migrate from area to area, depending on the wildlife they are hunting.

Because Shamans can transform themselves into other creatures, I thought that a salmon would be a good mix with the shaman. On both sides you have the shaman transforming into a fish. There are details of a fish appearing on the shaman and the shaman is taking on the form of the fish.

The shaman is searching to see if the salmon are migrating to the same spot as last year and if they are plentiful.

—Michael Massie

Michael Massie

Michael Massie


Inuit, Métis

Happy Valley - Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

(1962- )

Massie’s work is a reflection of his mixed Inuit, Métis and Scottish heritage. In it, he investigates both traditional and contemporary themes. He has achieved renown for his innovative teapots that combine themes and symbols from his native Inuit culture with European traditions. Massie has been twice short-listed for the coveted Prix Saidye Bronfman and has an extensive international reputation. His work has been shown in North America and Europe, including the National Gallery of Canada. He was elected a member of Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2011.