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Raven-Finned Killer Whale (1978)


  • Medium: serigraph
  • Size: 11 × 16.5 inches
  • Edition: 75
  • Reference Code: RD1978-02


A Haida legend tells of a seal hunter who happened to spear a small killer whale. He was at once surrounded by the herd, who threatened to kill him unless he paid for the death of the young whale, who was the son of their chief. The hunter gave them food and all that was in his canoe. Demanding more, the whales wanted his spear (an heirloom that brought success in hunting) but he refused to give it up.The Whales then called for their chief to talk with the hunter. Across the water came the chief—a large whale having a tall dorsal fin with a raven perched on top. Finally the hunter gave up his valuable spear and the whales disappeared, but to prevent him from starving, they caused fish to be washed up on the beach. The hunter filled his canoe and returned home. The Raven-Finned Killer Whale became his crest, and a pole was carved to commemorate the event.In front of the house where my great-great-grandmother once lived, there used to be a totem pole named “Raven-Finned Killer Whale.” My grandmother recalls that it was a very tall pole incorporating a killer whale, and surmounted by a raven. It was her uncle’s memorial pole.In this print I have fit Raven’s head inside the whale’s dorsal fin, and integrated its body with that of the sea mammal. Whale’s flipper becomes Raven’s wing, their back-to-back heads form the blow hole, and together they share a common tail.

Usually I reserve cross-hatching for secondary areas when designing jewellery, but in this print I have used it as a form line to connect the dorsal fin to the flipper.

Other available artwork you might like by Robert Davidson:

Robert Davidson

Robert Davidson



Tsahl Eagle Clan

(1946- )

Robert Davidson is one of the most decorated Canadian artists today. He has received such prestigious awards as the Order of Canada, the Order of British Columbia, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Aboriginal Achievement Foundation, and was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

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Spirit Wrestler Gallery

101-1669 West 3rd Ave.
Vancouver, BC
Canada V6J 1K1

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