Spawning Salmon

Artist Susan A. Point, O.C., DFA., RCA., D.Litt.


Coast Salish
Yellow Cedar, Copper
71” x 71” x 4”

Susan Point's “Spawning Salmon” honors the basis of traditional wealth on the Pacific Northwest Coast: the Salmon.

This deeply-carved waxed yellow cedar panel depicts the spawning salmon.   For Pacific Northwest Indigenous cultures spawning salmon symbolize connection to a place of origin and renewal.  In nature the spawning salmon return to their place of birth after a long absence that can stretch up to a decade.

There are four salmon depicted in this panel. The number four is sacred in Pacific Northwest Coast mythology and is connected to the number of tidal changes and to the number of seasons. The outer rim of the panel is adorned with copper accents, which are also an reference to traditional wealth and which here contrast beautifully with the clear grain of the yellow cedar.