Nine years ago, we traveled to Alaska exploring two very different areas of this huge state: The "Inside Passage" along the old-growth temperate rainforest and Denali National Park.
During stops in Sitka, Juneau and Fairbanks we browsed art galleries and learned about the rich symbolism expressed in tribal art. Whales, for instance, play an important role in Inuit and Northwest Coast Native American folklore. Like salmon and buffalo, they are believed to offer themselves up as food to help the people survive, and therefore hold a special position of honor and respect. Even sighting a whale is considered lucky in many Northwest Coast tribes, and men who were successful whalers were among the highest-esteemed members of traditional Northwest Coast societies. Some tribes also associated whales with wisdom and spiritual awareness.
The combination of red, white and black used in tribal paintings left a long lasting impression, and years inspired this jewellery series many years later.
More pictures of our trip can be found here.