This Ko'lus, or Young Thunderbird, Paddle is hand-carved by Kwakwaka'wakw artist Talon George. It has been carved from yellow cedar and painted in black, grey, maroon, and light purple acrylic paint.
Ko'lus/Kolus/Kulus is a young Thunderbird, sometimes referred to as the younger brother or sister of Thunderbird. The Ko'lus has a coat of white down so thick it makes him hot and prone to sweating. Like the Thunderbird, the Ko'lus has the ability to transform into a human. When overheated, the Ko'lus removes his down to become temporarily human. A highly respected symbol, Ko'lus is known as a protector spirit. In many origin stories, a Ko'lus flew down from heaven and shed his coat, transforming into a human and becoming the founding ancestor of the tribe or clan.
The Thunderbird Symbol represents power, protection, and strength. He is often seen as the most powerful of all spirits and can also transform into human form by opening his head up like a mask and taking his feathers off as if they were a mere blanket. Under his wings are lightning snakes, which he can use as a tool or weapon.
Find more information about and examples of The Thunderbird Northwest Coast First Nations symbol.
The paddle measures approximately 58 inches or 147 centimeters long, 7 3/4 inches or 19 1/2 centimeters wide, and 1 1/2 inches or 4 centimeters deep.