Paddle depicting Thunderbird by Laurence Scow, Kwakwaka'wakw
Paddle depicting Thunderbird by Laurence Scow, Kwakwaka'wakw yellow cedar, pigment 60" long x 7" wide x 1.5" deep
The Thunderbird is a mythical creature that is said to be the dominating force of all-natural activity. Located in the Pacific North Western Mountains, the Thunderbird creates booms of thunder by flapping his wings and shoots bolts of lightning from his eyes, when hunters got too close to his home. In this depiction, Thunderbird is transforming into a human.
By creating rainstorms he waters the earth, making it possible for vegetation to grow. He is said to be so large that his wingspan is as large as two canoes, and that he could easily carry a killer whale out of the water with his talons. Only the most powerful and successful chiefs and families use the Thunderbird in their crest.
Laurence Scow was born in 1958 into the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation located at Fort Rupert by Port Hardy, British Columbia. Although he was born into a long line of carvers, Laurence did not start carving until later in life. He began carving in 1985, inspired by the work of Bill Wilson and Larry Hunt. His attention to detail and elegant lines makes each piece a complete work of art.