In 1998, Dzawada'enuxw artist Marianne Nicholson scaled a vertical rock face in Kingcome Inlet to paint a massive pictograph to mark the continued vitality of her ancestral village of Gwa'yi. Two Wolves at the Dawn of Time is the story of that painting, of earlier politically defiant rock art, and of "coppers," ceremonial shields that are a central motif in these images. Judith Williams tracks the history of a culturally and geographically rich locale at a flashpoint in Native-white relations. She investigates the rock art around Kingcome Inlet, explores the disintegrating Halliday homestead, and plumbs the archives to measure colonialism's legacy. Documenting Nicholson's painting of the new pictograph, Williams describes the symbiosis of old and new that has seen Gwa'yi and the Kwakwaka'wakw prevail despite all attempts to eradicate their culture.
About the author
Artist and writer Judith Williams gathered material on the settling of Kingcome Inlet by homsteaders and the copper/cow pictograph's relation to the potlatch ban during ten years of visits to the inlet. She is the author of two previous books, High Slack and Dynamite Stories. Williams's work has been shown at the Vancouver Art Gallery, UBC's Museum of Anthropology and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. She splits her time and mind between Vancouver and Refuge Cove on West Redonda Island in Desolation Sound.