xu’athun stl’q’een’: hwulmuhw perspectives on art and language

Luke Marston

This project is a study of Coast Salish art and how it relates to my Hul’q’umi’num’ language and culture. I draw on personal experience as an artist as well as research with Elders and speakers to lay down descriptions of my art pieces in our language. My art is heavily influenced by the traditional stories told to me as I was learning to carve. It was a great privilege to learn these stories in Hul’q’umi’num’, and excerpts are given here. The second part of my project, xu’athun stl’qeen’ documents carving four bird feathers. I give Hul’q’umi’num’ words and phrases about carving, as well as traditional tools, paints, shapes and form. Each feather has a bird representation painted on it and every bird has a place in our snuw’uyulh – traditional teachings. The knowledge from the ancestors taught to me will help me in turn to teach and inspire the younger generation.

Keywords: Hul’q’umi’num’; Coast Salish; art; carving; traditional teachings