This Killer Whale Design Apron Pattern Board by Calvin Hunt is painted in black acrylic on red cedar.
Chilkat weaving is said to have originated among the Tsimshian and was later adopted by the Chilkat Tlingit. Among the Kwakwaka'wakw, those with Tlingit heritage claim the prestigious Chilkat-woven ceremonial regalia that came to them through marriage. When she married Robert Hunt in Fort Rupert, Tlingit noblewoman and Calvin Hunt’s ancestor, Anisalaga (Mary Ebbets), brought the knowledge and the rights of this intricate and complex weaving to the Kwakwaka'wakw.
To appreciate this design, the viewer must see it reversed horizontally—much as a dancer wearing the finished Chilkat woven apron would see the looking down on it. The upside-down face at the bottom of the panel represents the Orca’s large dorsal fin. Often in representations of whales, Northwest Coast artists depict a human face at the base of the dorsal fin. On either side of this split representation are crescent shapes representing the whale’s blow hole. To the left and right, again in split-representation, is the Orca’s large head with rows of teeth in the upper and lower mandibles. The upper central forms represent pectoral fins. The very top of the pattern board has 5 long U-forms representing the surface of the water.
Chilkat weaving represents a collaboration between male and female artists. Crest designs for a Chilkat garment—a dancing robe, tunic, apron, or leggings—were traditionally painted by a man on a flat pattern board to be translated into the luxurious mountain goat wool weaving by a woman. For large robes, the painter of the pattern board illustrated only half the design; the weaver would duplicate the other half to complete the entire garment.
The fine art of Chilkat weaving was done on an upright loom with twined wool and cedar bark warps. Finger-weaving the weft of white, black, yellow, and sometimes turquoise blue and red twinned wool, a female artist created curvilinear formline designs that included ovoids and perfect circles. The dramatic Chilkat Dancing Robe—still seen in potlatches worn by high-ranking people—is hemmed on the bottom edge with a heavy flowing fringe of white mountain goat wool. Chilkat aprons sometimes have fringes adorned with tiny bells, deer hooves, and in the past with brass thimbles and or puffin beaks.
The panel measures approximately 30 inches or 76 cm by 16 inches or 40.5 cm.
The price includes shipping to the continental USA or Canada.