KUNAMOKST - West Coast Mural Mosaic

Patricia Gulyas


The guardian of the heritage

Panel before
Artist Comments: The Killer Whales are a part of numerous West Coast Tribes legends; it is the symbol of longevity and the guardian of the sea, strength and communication. These whales have a close relationship to man- some legend tells us those same Killer Whales saved the world and brought back the sun that God hidden under the sea. Another legend implies that a Killer Whale was saved by the sea lions when his jealous brothers-in-law that abandoned him on an island. One tribe believes that the Killer Whale is the ancestor of the humans or the reincarnation of deceased Chiefs.
The moon is known as the guardian of Mother Earth, protector of the people during the night and symbol of power. During tribal ceremonies the moon signified of elevation and was often considered a sign of status. The moon has an important role in Northwest Native culture and life; various tribes believe that direction, vision and guidance could be received when the moon is bright.
Totem poles are the legacy of the North West Tribes. This fabulous art form was created to tell story, honored the family, clan or deceased. They were made public by famous artist such as Emily Carr and Bill Reid.
What a beautiful idea to associate the moon (that has the ability to change our moods and thoughts), the guardian of the sea and in the same time give tribute to ancestral stories and art. The moon has to be one of the most popular subjects in my work, I find it fascinating.