Body Language: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest
An Exhibition from the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art
December 1–May 16, 2021 at Musée Héritage Museum
Since ancient times, both men and women of the Northwest Coast have marked their clan crests and symbols of personal identity onto their skin. After 1885, when the practices of tattooing and potlatches were banned, the display of personal crest designs was transferred to clothing and jewellery.
The exhibition features five contemporary tattoo artists who are reclaiming traditional techniques and traditional rights to be tattooed. Guest curator Dion Kaszas (Nlaka’pamux), Nakkita Trimble (Nisga’a), Nahaan (Tlingit), Corey Bulpitt (Haida) and Dean Hunt (Heiltsuk) create art that transcends mere decoration to provide healing, protection and a profound sense of belonging.
We gratefully acknowledge that funding for the Body Language: Reawakening Cultural Tattooing of the Northwest exhibition was provided by Canadian Heritage (Patrimoine canadien) through the Museums Assistance Program.