Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)
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The Transformation of Thunderbird’s Wife


  • Medium: alder
  • Size: 14 × 11.5 × 4 inches
  • Reference Code: X80503

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Several pieces in this exhibition are listed as Not For Sale (NFS) due to prior agreements made by the students to have their pieces repatriated back to their band in exchange for tuition and the opportunity to attend the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art.

This moon mask portrays the story of Thunderbird’s wife, Qolus, who wanted to experience life on earth. Thunderbird told her that when you change, you change completely. So when she transformed human, she transformed to a human man. During her life on earth as a man, Qolus married Copper Woman’s first daughter and fathered four sons. The four sons were of different skin colours: white, black, yellow, and red. After a massive flood the four sons and their wives were sent to start a new life and went in four directions. This was the start of the different races: the Red people, the Yellow people, the White people, and the Black people. After a long, good life, Qolus returned to the skies and Thunderbird, where she is responsible for directing the wind, rain, and lightning.

Arlene Ness

Arlene E. Ness

Arlene E. Ness


Arlene is a Giskaast from the House of Tsi Basaa. She lives in Gitanmaax near Hazelton, BC. After completing two years at Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art she transferred as a second year student into the Freda Diesing School of Northwest Coast Art.

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Spirit Wrestler Gallery

47 Water Street
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6B 1A1

Toll Free: 1-888-669-8813
Phone: 604-669-8813


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3 blocks from Waterfront Station
Between Abbott St. and Carrall St.

Monday to Saturday, open 10-6
Sunday and Holidays, open 12-5