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Art Native American

Understanding Northwest Coast Indigenous Jewelry

The Art, The Artists, The History

by (author) Alexander Dawkins

foreword by Corrine Hunt

Greystone Books Ltd
Initial publish date
Jun 2019
Native American, Cultural, Jewelry, General
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jun 2019
    List Price

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As beautiful as it is useful, Understanding Northwest Coast Indigenous Jewelry is an invaluable tool for anyone interested in learning about or deepening their understanding of a fascinating craft.

Indigenous hand-engraved jewelry from the Pacific Northwest Coast is among the most distinctive, innovative, and highly sought-after art being produced in North America today. But these artworks are more than just stunning—every bracelet, ring, and pendant is also the product of a fascinating backstory, a specialized set of techniques, and a talented artist.

With a clearly written text, a foreword by award-winning First Nations artist Corrine Hunt, and more than one hundred striking color photographs and sidebars, Understanding Northwest Coast Indigenous Jewelry offers an illuminating look at an exquisite craft and the context in which it is practiced.

Providing a step-by-step overview of various techniques, the book also introduces the specifics of formline design, highlights the traits of the most common animal symbols used, offers tips for identification, and features biographies and works from over fifty of the Coast’s best-known jewelers. Finally, it delves into the history of the art form, from the earliest horn and copper cuff bracelets to cutting-edge contemporary works and everything in between.

About the authors

Alexander Dawkins is a co-owner of Lattimer Gallery, which specializes in contemporary Northwest Coast art and promotes the work of emerging artists. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Art History with a focus on Indigenous art; a master’s degree in Art History; and a master’s degree in Library and Archival Science.

Alexander Dawkins' profile page

Corrine Hunt is a Kwakwaka'wakw artist, acclaimed for her contemporary jewellery, metalwork, and furniture that reflect both her cultural past and her present. Born and raised in Alert Bay, she is the descendant of a venerable family of Indigenous leaders and creators, starting with her great-great grandmother Anisalaga (Mary Ebbets Hunt), a noted weaver of blankets and a Tlingit woman of high rank. Anisalaga married the Englishman Robert Hunt, and moved down the coast with him to Fort Rupert. Corrine Hunt's great-grandfather George Hunt provided knowledge, access, and assistance to anthropologist Franz Boas in his explorations of Kwakwaka'wakw culture. George Hunt met Emily Carr in 1930, and they corresponded briefly. Corrine's uncle Henry Hunt and her many singing, dancing, carving, and writing cousins continue to expand on her family legacy today. Corrine Hunt divides her time between Vancouver, Fort Rupert, and Alert Bay.

Corrine Hunt's profile page

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