Released April 2005
Primary: SOLD OUT
A/P: SOLD OUT
One of my favourite memories from childhood is sitting at the
kitchen table with my brothers and sisters when we would t’sapa.
The table was completely covered with newspaper and our sleeves
were rolled up past our elbows. We would take our salmon or our
boiled potatoes and proceed to dip them in a light golden coloured
oil. For the non-initiated, the scent from this oil can be overpowering
and, as in the case with my wife, induce gagging. The oil in the
Kwak’wala language is called Tli’na, or eulachon grease.
Tli’na is rendered from the eulachon, a fatty member of the
smelt family often called candlefish because it is said that due
to the high oil content of the fish one could light it like you
would a candle. It is removed from the fish through a lengthy—and
smelly—process of fermentation and boiling. Each family has
its own unique method passed down through the generations. The end
result is often referred to as “liquid gold” by those
who prize its taste and nutritional value.
In our culture, Tli’na is given away at special potlatches
and feasts. For those that give away large quantities of Eulachon
grease, their status amongst the tribes will increase. When my grandmother
was young, her father, Chief Charles Mountain Wilson of Fort Rupert,
gave away canoe loads of grease as shown in the photo above.
The return of the Eulachons to their special spawning grounds in
our inlets and rivers is truly a gift from the Creator.
“Gift” is a limited edition print using
the giclée method of printmaking. This print was released
in April of 2005 and printed by Andy Everson at the artist’s
own studio in Comox B.C. A total of 133 prints bear the title “Gift”
and are signed by Andy Everson: 120 in the primary edition bearing
the numbers 1/120 through 120/120; 12 Artist’s Proofs; and
1 Printer’s Proof. The acid-free Moab Entrada 100% cotton
rag paper measures 6.5x19 inches. Image size measures about 5.25x17.5