The Mowachaht Maquinna Whaler
The first residents of Nooka Sound on the West Coast of Vancouver
Island, British Columbia, Canada were the Mowachaht and Muchalaht
people who had a rich existence and culture based in whaling and
river fishing. The first Europeans to have sustained contact with
British Columbia¹s coastal native people were Captain James
Cook and his crew on the H.M.S. Resolution and H.M.S. Discovery.
At Yuquot (Friendly Cove), Captain James Cook and his crew met
Chief Maquinna on March 31, 1778. Maquinna was the most influential
leader and a high-ranking chief of the Mowachaht and Muchalaht people.
Maquinna and the Mowachaht people were the first to exploit the
resources of the sea otters and grew to be a powerful and prosperous
force on the coast.
The Mowachaht Maquinna Whaler was modeled from historical drawings
of Chief Maquinna and cast in fine quality, hand tinted porcelain
by artist Leasa Robson. The Maquinna Whaler features hand sculpted
and painted facial features, glass eyes and natural hair. The Maquinna
Whaler features an authentic hand woven cedar bark whaler¹s
regalia woven by Nuu-chah-nulth weaver Alice Sam. The regalia is
finely detailed with sinew ties and bone beads. The Maquinna Whalers
Hat features exquisite detailing in the potlatch finial and in the
intricately woven whaling scene, which is interwoven into the hat¹s
design. The Maquinna hat was only worn by the whale hunters and
is identified with Chief Maquinna who wore this style of hat. In
addition, the Whaler is holding a hand carved Yew Wood Harpoon carved
by Chief Dixon Sam, which has an attached hand woven cedar bark
rope. This Harpoon can be exchanged for a custom designed hand carved
Yew Wood Whaler's Paddle.