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Cover Art
Author Black, Martha.

Title Bella Bella : a season of Heiltsuk art / Martha Black.

Published Toronto : Royal Ontorio Museum ; Vancouver : Douglas & McIntire ; Seattle : University of Washington Press, 1997.


Location Call No. Status
 UniM Store  704.03979 BLAC MF10    AVAILABLE
Physical description xv, 207 pages : illustrations (some colour), colour maps ; 25 cm
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 202-207).
Contents 1. The Large Collection and Heiltsuk Art History -- 2. Sources: Art, History, Ethnology. The Objects. Published Sources. Unpublished Sources -- 3. Missionaries and Collectors: The Context of the Large Collection. The Bella Bella Mission. Intellectual Climate. Collecting at Bella Bella. Collecting by Missionaries. Large's Northwest Coast Collections. The Prices of Artifacts -- 4. The Large Collection as History: "A More Complete Blending of the Two Lives ..." Tools and Technology. Ritual Dances and Feasts. Provenance: Objects from Other Communities. Shamans and Healing. Mythology -- 5. Five Bella Bella Carvers. Chief Robert Bell. Captain Carpenter. Enoch. General Dick. Daniel Houstie -- App. A. Methodist Missionaries at Bella Bella, 1880-1914 -- App. B. Dr. Richard Whitfield Large: Chronology -- App. C. Contributors to the Large Collection -- App. D. Works by Daniel Houstie and Associated Objects -- App. E. Objects from Other Communities (1901 Collection).
App. F. Purchase Prices, 1906 Collection (NS 27847-27977) -- App. G. Tools, Fishing Gear, and Gaming Pieces, by Type -- App. H. Objects Not Examined -- App. I. Some Heiltsuk Words -- App. J. Concordance.
Summary The original Heiltsuk-speaking tribes inhabited the outer islands, protected inland waterways, and mainland fiords of the central Northwest Coast. In 1880 the Methodist Church made the Heiltsuk village of Bella Bella its base for mission work on the Northwest Coast. By the time missionary and doctor Reverend Richard W. Large arrived in 1898 the village outwardly resembled a European-style town, but Heiltsuk culture persisted. While the Heiltsuk absorbed, adapted, and appropriated aspects of Euro-Canadian culture to their needs, they also maintained their ancestral artistic traditions and spiritual ceremonies, sometimes under clandestine circumstances.
Large was among the missionaries approached by museum agents to assist in the acquisition of artifacts, resulting in one of the most significant collections of Heiltsuk art in existence. Large's close association with the Heiltsuk as minister, physician, surgeon, administrator, justice of the peace, choirmaster, and teacher resulted in the uniqueness of his collection of artifacts and its documentation. His interest in folk medicine, mythology, and archaeology is evident in his published writings, which are a primary source for this study. Unlike many ethnological collectors, Large spent years in one community (1898-1910) and recorded specific, personal information. Also, as a physician and surgeon, he had power in, and access to, aboriginal society beyond that available to many missionaries.
Large's collection is important to Native America art history, which has been hampered in the past by the assumption that aboriginal art is static through time, anonymous, and lacking in documentation. In its examination of the historical contextof the collection, the work is also a dynamic story of cultural clash and cultural exchange.
Subject Large, Richard Whitfield -- Ethnological collections.
Heiltsuk art.
Heiltsuk Indians -- Material culture.
Heiltsuk Indians -- Antiquities.
ISBN 029597608X