So Much More Than Art: Indigenous Miniatures of the Pacific Northwest
Published by: UBC Press
Imprint: UBC Press
Published: October 2021
Imprint: UBC Press
Page Count: 224 Pages
Illustrations: 21 photographs, 7 tables, 2 charts/diagrams
Dimensions: 6.25 x 9.25
224 Pages, 6.25 x 9.25 x 0.75 in, 21 photographs, 7 tables, 2 charts/diagrams
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So Much More Than Art reveals the fascinating practice of miniaturization in Indigenous Northwest Coast art as a subtle form of communication in the face of oppressive colonization.
Miniature canoes, houses and totems, and human figurines have been produced on the Northwest Coast since at least the sixteenth century. What has motivated Indigenous artists to produce these tiny artworks? Are they curios, toys, art, or something else?
So Much More Than Art is a highly original exploration of this intricate cultural pursuit. Through case studies and conversations with contemporary Indigenous artists, Jack Davy uncovers the ways in which miniatures have functioned as crucial components of satirical opposition to colonial government, preservation of traditional techniques, and political and legal negotiation.
This nuanced study of a hitherto misunderstood practice demonstrates the importance of miniaturization as a technique for communicating complex cultural ideas between generations and communities, and across the divide that separates Indigenous and settler societies. Most of all, So Much More Than Art is a testament to the cultural resilience of the Indigenous peoples of the Northwest Coast.
1 Practice and Play: The Makah
2 The Haida String: Northern Peoples
3 Tiny Dancers and Idiot Sticks: The Kwakwaka’wakw
4 Small Foundations: Tulalip Tribes
5 An Elemental Theory of Miniaturization
6 Analysis of Technique and Status
7 Miniature Realities
Notes; References; Index