Honoring the Salmon People, 1996 by Robert Hewson, Tsimshian
Honoring the Salmon People, 1996 by Robert Hewson, Tsimshian framed silkscreen 17.25" high x 20.5" wide x .5" deep
Tsimshian artist Robert Hewson was born in October 1946 in Metlakatla, Alaska
This design is a representation of the First Salmon ceremony. Among many of the Northwest tribes, the first salmon caught during their return upriver to spawn was the object of the ceremony. After thanking the salmon for providing food for the humans, the salmon was cooked and eaten. The uneaten scraps, the bones and skin, were returned to the water to be reborn and return in the following years.Here I show a woman placing the bones in the water. The salmon returns to the salmon spirit house, which is painted with salmon designs. In the design on the salmon spirit house, human faces blow eggs into the belly of the salmon, a symbol of the continued survival of the salmon people. The smoke curling from the smoke holes of the salmon house represents ravens as guardian spirits to the salmon, for it was Raven who first brought salmon to the Northwest Coast.
This print is a limited edition original serigraph. Working with original drawings, and from a related painting, printer Paul Nicholson printed this edition in 1996 with the assistance of Robert