Killer Whale

Indigenous artwork on the Pacific Northwest Coast often incorporates figures and animals that are related to crest symbols. Crests have been passed down through families and have varying meanings depending on the context and association with a nation, clan, or family. The figures depicted in contemporary Northwest Coast Indigenous artwork also have varying meanings but there are some common characteristics from a range of sources, including oral histories and artist descriptions.

Killer Whale is a common crest and being among many groups of the Northwest Coast, and one of the most prevalent depictions in the artwork. In some Haida oral traditions, Raven-Finned Killer Whale is a whale-chief and characterized by a Raven-headed dorsal fin. There are also Haida depictions of two-, three-, and even five-finned Killer Whales. It has been suggested that these supernatural figures may have originated from sightings of whale pods surfacing, with multiple dorsal fins visible above the water. Killer Whale’s familial bonds and skillfulness in teamwork can oftentimes lead to associations with communication, family, unity, and travel. Killer Whale is generally identified by a large ovoid eye, blowhole, dorsal fin, and tail flukes.
98 items

Killer Whale Spoon
Artist Unknown (Northern Coastal)

The bowl of this spoon is carved on both the front and the back. This is unusual. Most feast spoo...

The bowl of this spoon is carved on both the front and the back. This is unusual. Most feast spoons have carved handles but the bowl is left untouched. The interior depicts a Killer Whale and the exterior depicts a Raven. Indigenous artwork on the Pacific Northwest Coast often incorporates figures and animals that are related to crest symbols. Crests have been passed down through families and have varying meanings depending on the context and association with a nation, clan, or family. The f...

$2,000.00

Spy Hop Killer Whale Sculpture
Rod Smith (Kwakwaka'wakw)

These works are hand-painted and design features may vary. The term 'Spy Hop' refers to the actio...

These works are hand-painted and design features may vary. The term 'Spy Hop' refers to the action when Killer Whales bob near the surface of the water, 'spying' on their surroundings. Indigenous artwork on the Pacific Northwest Coast often incorporates figures and animals that are related to crest symbols. Crests have been passed down through families and have varying meanings depending on the context and association with a nation, clan, or family. The figures depicted in contemporary Northw...

$1,600.00