Northwest Coast Salmon earrings
Northwest Coast Salmon earrings.
Measures 2'' from the top of hook.
Handcrafted by artist Patrick Seaweed.
The Pacific Northwest Coast people believed that Salmon were actually humans with eternal life how lived in a large house far under the ocean. In the Spring, they put on their Salmon disguises and offered themselves to the villagers as food. The tribes believed that when entire fish skeletons were returned to the sea, the spirits would rise again and change into Salmon people. In this way, the cycle could begin again the following year. Since the villagers feared that the Salmon people would not be treated respectfully (by White people who had no knowledge of the taboos and regulations), they did not want to sell Salmon to the first White men.
Salmon is considered the staple food of many coastal communities, brought to the rivers seas by the Raven. The Haida tell of how Raven stole the salmon from the Beaver people by rolling up their stream and landscape like a carpet and flying away. It was so heavy that he could only fly a short distance at a time. He would stop wherever there was a tree to rest. The Beaver people transformed themselves back into Beavers in order to stop him. They would gnaw down the trees that Raven stopped at and each time some Salmon and stream would escape the rolled up landscape forming great streams and rivers of Salmon. Not only was the salmon a favorite food of the Raven, it also became a favorite of the Haida.
In Kwagiulth culture, twins alone have the right to the Salmon dance. To give birth to twins was a sacred gift bestowed on a mother and was believed to have come from the Salmon people.