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Hwunumetse' (Simon Charlie 1920-2005) renowned Coast Salish Master Carver and Elder was named a 2003 recipient of the Order of Canada for his contribution to education and preservation of his cultural heritage, its legends and stories. In addition, Charlie received the National Centennial Medal in 1967 and the Order of British Columbia in 2001.
In over 30 years of carving traditional Cowichan Coast Salish art, Simon Charlie estimated he had carved the equivalent of 22 logging truckloads of cedar logs. His totem poles stand in the Royal B.C. Museum, the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, and from Washington State to New York, Chicago, Holland, New Zealand and Australia. His artworks and masks are found in collections in North and South America, Europe and Japan.
He taught heritage, culture and traditions to his people, and to non-aboriginals as well. He was passionately committed to the preservation and maintenance of the traditions, language, arts and culture of his people. His dedication to passing on his knowledge to the younger generation by mentoring young Coast Salish artists in traditional methods and designs can not easily be matched.
The Coast Salish style is straightforward and simple. Their pieces were created for use rather than show, and Simon Charlie's feathering tequnique enhances the clean, strong formline.
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