Killer Whale Plaque
Carved by Aubrey Johnston Jr.
6.5"h. x 22.5"w. x 1.5"d.
The Killer Whale in Kwakwa̱ka̱'wakw Mythology
The Killer Whale lives in the west at the outer side of the world, where he has two canoes. One is named One-Tide-canoe because it takes only one tide to travel to Knight Inlet and back. The other canoe, One-Day-Canoe, takes only one day to travel to the Skeena River and return. The dolphins are his warriors, and help him to bring back his daughter when the Chief-of-the-Ancients tries to steal her. Sea Lion is his messenger and slave.
The Killer Whale may emerge as ancestors. The Kwakwaka'wakw respect Killer Whales because they view them as reincarnations of deceased chiefs and are used as Imas in the potlatch. They are also associated with coppers, property disposition, and wealth.