> Home Page > Things To Do > Arts & Culture > Coast Salish Carving > About the Carving

About the Carving

Chazz Elliott’s Coast Salish spindle whorl carving is made from cedar and is approximately 35” round with a 2” hole in the centre. The Artist provides the following description for his work:

“The carving is made of cedar, a wood that is important in our culture. The shape being a circle represents coming together. A spindle whorl is used for making something larger out of something smaller.

The carving depicts the sun rising over the land, representing new beginnings. The land has a human face to signify mother earth. The wolves on either end represent balance over the land.

Each sun ray consists of different beings, from which the Coast Salish people draw their teachings and lessons. The orcas at the bottom illustrate unity, and in the centre, the paddle shows working together.

The way the paddle is raised, with the handle down and paddle up is known as a sign of peace amongst first peoples. When we arrive as guests on the shores of another’s territory or come to a meeting, paddles are upright to show the sign of peace because in the days of war canoes they would also be used as weapons. Therefore, the upright paddle shows peaceful intentions. Still today, when we go on our tribal journeys and ask permission to come ashore, all the visiting paddlers must hold their paddles upright to show their intentions of peace, to be allowed a shore.”  coast salish carving