This Thunderbird and Lightning Snake or Haietlik Bentwood Box is hand-carved by Cree and adopted Nuu-chah-nulth artist Joshua Prescott. The box features 12 round and 24 square abalone inlays and a unique design on each of the four sides depicting either a Thunderbird or a Lightning Snake.
Joshua shared his inspiration for the box by recounting the Nuu-chah-nulth story of the first Thunderbird.
'There was a family that was going hungry, who were starving and the father asked each of his oldest sons if they could go out hunt a whale to provide food for the family. Each son tried and each son returned empty-handed. The youngest, smallest brother said “let me try, let me try” and all his brothers said you’re too small and too weak, but his father said “go ahead, you try” and the youngest son said "ok, but I’m going to go spiritually bathe first in the ice-cold mountain water". He did this for 4 days. He fell asleep by the river and the Haietlik (Lightning Snake) came to him and said go into the water and wrap me around your neck. He went into the water, wrapped the Haietlik around his neck, and immediately turned into a Thunderbird. He flew off, found a whale, killed it, and brought it back to his family to eat. Then he returned to the river where he was bathing and took off the Haietlik and turned back into a man.'
This was the story of the first Thunderbird taught to Joshua.
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.
As well as being a carver and an artist, Joshua is an expert woodworker and this is evident in the high-quality finishes on the Bentwood Box. The box including the top is about 13 ½ inches or 33.5 centimeters high, 9 1/2 inches or about 24 centimeters wide and 9 ½ inches or 24 centimeters deep.
The price includes shipping to the continental USA and Canada.
Please contact us for a shipping quote, if you would like to have this Bentwood Box shipped outside of Continental North America.