A Totem Pole History: The Work of Lummi Carver Joe Hillaire

By Pauline Hillaire; Gregory P. Fields | Go to book overview

A Call to Carvers

SCÄLLA, PAULINE HILLAIRE

MY NAME IS PAULINE HILLAIRE. I COME FROM THE Lummi Nation. My Indian name is Scälla, which means “Of the Killer Whale.” I’m making an all-out call for young people with dreams and visions for the future of their children and the survival of their children. To carve, some of you think it’s a mystery, but no.

You’ve got to have heart, and I know you do. To carve as the Coast Salish people did, you’ve got to have heart. It has also been said, “Once a carver, always a carver.” The love of cedar or whatever medium is used, the love of the stories, the adventure of the entire event, from picking up the carving tool and picking the right tree or other medium, featuring in your mind, at first, the final carved product—every work of this art becomes a work of love, not just a challenge.

To say, “Once a carver, always a carver,” becomes a challenge to the workings of your mind as a young carver. Carving, no matter how long, brings more to the surface of the art than you expect. You’ve already become a storyteller or a historian once you carve, once you study the totem pole and finally cover and add your personal touch to it. Your world has expanded without your knowing it. You are already a very important

-xix-

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