Spirit Wrestler Gallery (Vancouver, Canada)

“Raven’s Nest” Basket


“In the past a chief would have one of his robes cut into pieces and distributed at a potlatch. He would give the pieces to his most esteemed guests. The recipient would collect as many of cut pieces as he could and have them fashioned into a piece of regalia. Other chiefs would see the new regalia and know they were looking at someone who was held in high regard amongst his peers. My sister and I have cut up an apron and we have distributed the pieces, in fact one piece was presented to Maori artist, Darcy Nicholas, to thank him for looking after me while I was in Aotearoa. The chilkat basket is inspired by an old hat that I once saw in a museum collection. It was a cedar bark hat completely covered in cut chilkat pieces. These pieces had been collected and sewn onto the hat. One night I decided that I was going to make a basket, but instead of using bark or roots, I used wool. The designs on the basket represent the wings of a raven — they surround the piece and are reminiscent of my granny’s arms wrapping around her family. Her name was Wii’n Loolth Gaax (Great Nest of the Raven). The basket is a combination of basketry, ravenstail, and chilkat weaving techniques. The name of the piece is Loolthm Gaax (Raven’s Nest)”.

William White

William White

William White


(1960- )

“In 2008, William White was given the hereditary house chief’s name Tsymiyaanbiin (Barnacles on the Belly of the Supernatural Being) at a potlatch held for Marvin Wesley to assume his chiefly name, La’as.”