The Soul of a Nation
Kaska art speaks volumes. It speaks of our land. It speaks of our people. It depicts the very soul of our nation.
For Kaska artists, most materials come from the land that sustains us. A well-tanned caribou hide, a moose horn, a good birch tree – these serve as our canvas. Inspiration surrounds us in the mountains, rivers, and forests that we call home. Our artists revel in the mountain cathedrals of our landscape more awe-inspiring than any works touched by the hand of mere men.
If you listen as you examine our antler carvings, you will hear a splash as a grizzly bear dips his great paw into a pristine river with lightning speed to catch a fearless trout.
If you listen as you glimpse at our masks, you will hear the old stories that the elders still pass on to the young.
If you listen as you gaze at Kaska beadwork, you will hear the primeval rhythm of life, like the beat from an ancient prayer song.
These are my people, and this is our art. This is the song of our single soul. It is a song as old as the stones, the sky and the water, and it will echo in our people forever.
– by Dave Porter
Excerpt from: Nanghághindā (Watch over the Earth) – A Kaska Nation Art Exhibition
May 22–July 20, 2003, Yukon Arts Centre Gallery.
Presented by the Society of Yukon Artists of Native Ancestry