- Don Yeomans is one
of the most respected and renowned Northwest Coast Native artists.
Born of a Masset Haida father and a Metis mother from Slave Lake,
Alberta, Yeomans has studied and worked in the Haida Style since he
was a youth.
As a young man, Yeomans apprenticed under the expert guidance of his
aunt, Freda Diesing. He worked with Robert
Davidson on the Charles Edenshaw Memorial Longhouse and
completed a jewelry apprentice with Phil Janze. Yeomans has also
studied fine art at Langara College in Vancouver.
Don Yeomans crafts his artworks in many materials: he creates
exquisite jewelry pieces in gold and silver, paints elegant Haida
designs on paper, produces outstanding prints and is one of the
His work can be found in the University of British Columbia's Museum
of Anthropology, the Royal British Columbia Museum, the Canadian
Museum of Civilization, and the Seattle Art Museum.
|In true Haida tradition, this pole tells the
story of why there are no more Beaver on the Queen Charlotte
|Everyone knew that Beaver was the best
fisherman and always caught the plumpest, pinkest salmon, but
nobody knew where he kept his catch. Beaver had a secrete lake
somewhere on the Islands where he hid all of the finest salmon.
Now Raven was naturally curious and the fact that Beaver had a secret hiding place bothered him to no end, so he came upon a plan to trick Beaver out of his salmon. Using his powers to shape-shift, Raven transformed himself into the likeness of an old man. He went to Beaver and told him that he was starving and asked if Beaver would show him where he kept his fine salmon. At first Beaver refused, but Raven begged again saying that he was only an old man and couldn’t eat very much.
At last Beaver felt sorry for the old man and showed him where his secret lake was. Raven changed back into his old form and, before Beaver could do anything, rolled up the lake like a rug and flew away with all of Beavers salmon. Beaver became very angry, and tried to run after Raven, But Raven was too fast and flew off into the distance. Beaver left the Islands in search of Raven and all the salmon, and that’s why there are no more beaver on the Queen Charlotte Islands
|In Haida art, human faces are sometimes
placed in the tails of certain animals. This symbolizes that the
animal is actually a spirit with the ability to shape-shift or
change its bodily form. Such faces are evident on this totem pole
in both the Ravens tail (as seen in this photo) and the Beavers
tail as it curls up from between his legs
"Raven" by Don
"Frogs" buy this at black tusk gallery
Don Yeomans (Haida)
carved and painted red cedar
approx. $5,330. (US)
this at Douglas Reynolds