Killer Whale Panel by David A. Boxley, Alaskan Tsimshian
Killer Whale Crest Panel by David A. Boxley, Alaskan Tsimshian hand carved red cedar, pigment 24" tall x 8" wide x 1" deep
There are four clans of the Tsimshian at Metlakatla, Alaska: Eagle, Raven, Killer Whale and Wolf. David often carves these four clan symbols, honoring the people of his relatives and ancestors.
The Killer Whale symbolizes family, romance, longevity, harmony, travel, community and protection. He is said to protect those who travel away from home, and to lead them back when the time comes. Killer Whales will often stay their whole life with the same pod and raise each calf with care. Killer Whales travel in large family groups, working together to protect all members of their pod.
Also known as the “Chief of the Sea” the Killer Whale is said to be the guardian of the ocean, with seals as his slaves and dolphins as his warriors. It is believed that Killer Whales are closely related to humans, and it is said that when a human drowns the human is taken down by Killer Whales into their deep villages and transformed into a Killer Whale. Some tribes believe that the Killer Whale will purposefully take down whole canoes to come closer to their loved ones.