This work is about a group of birds that we know in Haida Gwaii as salmonberry birds. They are songbirds (Swainson’s Thrush) and arrive in the springtime to spread the seeds — and the sweetness of their songs cause the berry bushes to sprout and the flowers to bloom. They assist in the pollination of the flowers and bringing forth the fruit much prized by our people.
We have created several Salmonberry Bird masks for the Woman’s Dancing Society — and have assisted with the revival and creation of old and new chants and songs.
Christian was born in Queen Charlotte City and raised in Old Masset, Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands, British Columbia). He is from the Dadens Yahgu’7laanaas Raven Clan and his Haida name is Kilthguulans (Voice of Gold). He started carving argillite at the age of fourteen under the direction of his father, Morris White. He studied the work of the great masters and especially of his great-great-grandfather Charles Edenshaw. A self-supporting artist since the age of seventeen, Christian shows an advanced knowledge of Haida forms and an emerging personal style based on narrative story telling and strong use of inlays of various materials, even in his earlier pieces.
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