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Art Canadian

Out of Concealment

Female Supernatural Beings of Haida Gwaii

by (author) Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson

foreword by Wade Davis & Gwaaganad (Diane Brown)

Publisher
Heritage House Publishing
Initial publish date
Aug 2017
Category
Canadian, Artists' Books, Native American
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781772031607
    Publish Date
    Aug 2017
    List Price
    $29.95

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Description

A stunning collection of powerful and whimsical photo collages celebrating supernatural female beings rooted in Haida culture.

 

Out of Concealment presents the oral narratives of the Haida Nation through the vibrant depiction of its female supernatural beings. Passed on from generation to generation through oral tradition, these stories are important historical narratives that illustrate the Haida’s values, customs, laws, and relationships with the earthly and metaphysical realms.

 

This book features over thirty full-colour surreal photo montages by Haida artist, performer, and activist Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson. The montages also integrate traditional Haida form-line art by Robert Davidson. Each image is accompanied by insightful, reflective text describing the being’s place in Haida cosmology. Out of Concealment encourages readers&mdashboth within the Haida Nation and the general public&mdashto see the feminine and the powerful land and seascapes of Haida Gwaii through a worldview where the environment is worthy of respect, not to be dominated or exploited. The book is being released to coincide with an exhibition of Williams-Davidson’s work at the Haida Gwaii Museum in 2017.

About the authors

Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson is an activist through art and music, and also through law. Born in Haida Gwaii, Terri-Lynn has been a promoter of Haida music and culture since the age of thirteen. Since 1995, she has successfully represented the Haida Nation at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. In 2014, she received the West Coast Environmental Law People's Choice Andrew Thompson Award for environmental advocacy. In 2000, she founded the Haida Gwaii Singers Society with other veteran Haida singers including her husband, artist Robert Davidson. For her music, she has received multiple Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards and several nominations for Aboriginal People’s Choice Awards, Canadian Folk Music Awards, a Western Canadian Music Award, and Native American Music Awards. An effective advocate, she integrates cultural knowledge and an Indigenous voice into her legal work. For more information, visit ravencallingproductions.ca./p

Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson's profile page

Wade Davis is professor of anthropology and the B.C. Leadership Chair in Cultures and Ecosystems at Risk at the University of British Columbia. Between 1999 and 2013 he served as Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society and is currently a member of the NGS Explorers Council and Honorary Vice-President of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Named by the NGS as one of the Explorers for the Millennium, he has been described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.” In 2014, Switzerland’s leading think tank, the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute of Zurich, ranked him 16th in their annual survey of the top 100 most influential global Thought Leaders.
An ethnographer, writer, photographer, and filmmaker, Davis holds degrees in anthropology and biology and received his PhD in ethnobotany, all from Harvard University. Mostly through the Harvard Botanical Museum, he spent over three years in the Amazon and Andes as a plant explorer, living among fifteen indigenous groups in eight Latin American nations while making some 6000 botanical collections. His work later took him to Haiti to investigate folk preparations implicated in the creation of zombies, an assignment that led to his writing The Serpent and the Rainbow (1986), an international best seller later released by Universal as a motion picture. In recent years his work has taken him to East Africa, Borneo, Nepal, Peru, Polynesia, Tibet, Mali, Benin, Togo, New Guinea, Australia, Colombia, Vanuatu, Mongolia and the high Arctic of Nunavut and Greenland.
Davis is the author of 275 scientific and popular articles and 20 books including One River (1996), The Wayfinders (2009), The Sacred Headwaters (2011), Into the Silence (2011) and River Notes (2012). His photographs have been widely exhibited and have appeared in 30 books and 100 magazines, including National Geographic, Time, Geo, People, Men’s Journal, and Outside. He was the co-curator of The Lost Amazon: The Photographic Journey of Richard Evans Schultes, first exhibited at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. In 2012 he served as guest curator of No Strangers: Ancient Wisdom in the Modern World, an exhibit at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles.
His many film credits include Light at the Edge of the World, an eight-hour documentary series written and produced for the National Geographic. A professional speaker for 30 years, Davis has lectured at over 200 universities and 250 corporations and professional associations. In 2009 he delivered the CBC Massey Lectures. He has spoken from the main stage at TED five times, and his three posted talks have been viewed by 3 million. His books have appeared in 20 languages and sold approximately one million copies.
Davis is the recipient of 11 honorary degrees, as well as the 2009 Gold Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society for his contributions to anthropology and conservation, the 2011 Explorers Medal, the highest award of the Explorers Club, the 2012 David Fairchild Medal for botanical exploration, the 2013 Ness Medal for geography education from the Royal Geographical Society, and the 2015 Centennial Medal of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard University. His recent book, Into the Silence, received the 2012 Samuel Johnson prize, the top award for literary nonfiction in the English language. In 2016 he was made a Member of the Order of Canada.

Wade Davis' profile page

Gwaaganad (Diane Brown)'s profile page

Editorial Reviews

As Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson transforms images of herself into powerful Beings such as SGuuluu Jaad (Foam Woman) and Xuuajii Jaad (Grizzly Bear Woman), she brings historical Haida narratives to life. More than 30 vivid photographs allow readers into the world of these Supernatural Beings, and Williams-Davidson’s accompanying narratives enhance the experience. As with many oral traditions, these narratives date back over many generations. They depict values, customs, rituals, laws, and relationships with the earthly and metaphysical realms, and reiterate an Indigenous worldview.

Canadian Indigenous Books for Schools

In this book, Terri-Lynn has given us a great gift. It is a work of exquisite power and beauty. As you follow its details, it will change how you see life itself.

John Borrows, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law, University of Victoria

a critical, original and wondrous iteration of ancient histories and wisdoms.

Nika Collison, curator, Haida Gwaii Museum at Kay Llnagaay

In this book Terri-Lynn has given us a great gift. It is a work of exquisite power and beauty. As you follows its details, it will change how you see life itself.

John Borrows, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law, UVic Victoria

This book is a mind-blowing masterpiece. Like all great art, it pierces the heart and electrifies the mind. Beauty and brilliance burst from the pages like a killer whale breaching from the sea.

David R. Boyd, environmental laywer and author of The Rights of Nature

Williams-Davidson does a great job of not only contextualizing the supernatural narrative but also applying it to current events that the Haida nation continues to experience.

Canadian Journal of Native Studies

SGaanaa qedas, Supernatural Beings, have been illustrated for millennia in art such as totem poles, paintings on bent-wood boxes, carved spoons, and button blankets. Terri-Lynn’s interpretations of the Female Supernatural Beings of Haida Gwaii give us a fresh personal look, in their natural settings. It’s exciting how she has brought them out of the treasure box to the forefront, broadening our awareness that they are truly still alive.

Robert Davidson Guud San Glans, CM, OBC

“[Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson’s] new book, Out of Concealment: Female Supernatural Beings of Haida Gwaii (Heritage, $29.95), not only sets down oral accounts of literal and metaphysical female characters but contains numerous photos of a costumed Williams-Davidson portraying them in forested and oceanside locales. Few others who took cases to the Supreme Court of Canada have likely done that.”

The Vancouver Sun

This work presents the Haida view of the natural world, cosmology, their values, and belief system. Useful for grades 9-10, the text can be used for study and comparison of origin stories to examine how narrative conveys societal values and beliefs, and as an exemplar of how art is used by society to reflect its values and point of view.

BC Educational Resource Consortium (ERAC)

In this brave and original book, Terri-Lynn imagines and gives form to the invisible dimensions of the Haida world, the female Supernatural Beings of the Sky Realm, of the Land and Sea. As a performance artist, for that indeed is what she is, she takes on the persona of each spiritual entity, imagining and crafting their adornments, clothing and hair, magical wings and feathers, the eyes of the divine. Each new role implies an act of transformation, which she embraces and celebrates as an essential force in Haida life.

Wade Davis

A critical, original, and wondrous iteration of ancient histories and wisdoms.

Nika Collison, curator, Haida Gwaii Museum at Kay Llnagaay

A critical, original, and wondrous iteration of ancient histories and wisdoms.

Nika Collison, curator, Haida Gwaii Museum at Kuay Llnagaay

This book is a mind-blowing masterpiece. Like all great art, it pierces the heart and electrifies the mind. Beauty and brilliance burst from the pages like a killer whale breaching from the sea.

David R. Boyd, environmental lawyer, professor, and author

This work presents the Haida view of the natural world, cosmology, their values, and belief system. Useful for grades 9-10, the text can be used for study and comparison of origin stories to examine how narrative conveys societal values and beliefs, and as an exemplar of how art is used by society to reflect its values and point of view.

BC Educational Resource Consortium (ERAC)

In this learned, sensual, moving celebration of the female supernatural beings who animate the waters, land, and skies of Haida Gwaii, Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson prepares a roadmap for the future . . . . Out of Concealment; is a book of wondrous transformations and a call for justice.

Colin Browne, author, Entering Time: The Fungus Man Platters of Charles Edenshaw

In her own life, this amazing Haida woman has transformed herself through many careers, from a computer scientist to the lawyer for the Haida Nation, to a beautiful dancer and singer of Haida songs, and altogether a great Haida Raven woman of Skedans. Terri-Lynn wants our children to become familiar with the Supernaturals like Nil Jaad, Killer Whale Woman, so that they become part of their learning and part of our natural ways again, as it was with our grandparents.

GwaaGanad Diane Brown

In this brave and original book, Terri-Lynn imagines and gives form to the invisible dimensions of the Haida world—the female Supernatural Beings of the Sky Realm, of the Land and Sea. As a performing artist . . . she takes on the persona of each spiritual entity, imagining and crafting their adornments, clothing and hair, magical wings and feathers, the eyes of the divine. Each new role implies an act of transformation, which she embraces and celebrates as an essential force in Haida life. . . She deliberately uses her own body and being as a vehicle of expression, not as an act of vanity but rather as homage to the primordial forces that she honors with every portrait.

Wade Davis, author of The Serpent and the Rainbow

“Like her great-grandmother, who gave her the Haida name Lalaxaaygans or “beautiful sound,” Williams-Davidson has done much to keep Haida culture alive. Her latest work, Out of Concealment: Female Supernatural Beings of Haida Gwaii, is also rooted in the deep past. But it feels strikingly new.”

Haida Gwaii Observer

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