16×20 original pastel on suede painting based on a 1899 photograph by Edward Curtis. (Private Collection)
About the Painting
The Lummi Nation is part of the Salish family of peoples of what is today Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia, where they have lived for millennia as hunter-gatherers.
Lummi people are renowned fishermen and have developed many ingenious and efficient methods for catching salmon, their staple food. Using the raw materials abundant in the coastal forests of the Pacific Northwest, they are also expert basket weavers and woodcarvers.
Their society traditionally revolved around small autonomous communities where extended families lived in longhouses constructed of native red cedar. Communities were tightly knit and gathered often to share goods and ceremonies in the legendary festivals known as potlachs – a tradition that is continued even to the present day.