The design represents a family of killer whales and the form is in the shape of a house post with a cross beam. The killer whale is said to represent the spirit of the great chiefs. The killer whale is used in the dance Klasala, or Peace dance.
Richard Hunt (b.1951) is a Kwaguilth (Kwakiutl) Native from Fort Rupert, near the northern tip of Vancouver Island, B.C. The Hunt family has been at the centre of traditional ceremonial life and carving for generations. Richard began carving at the age of 12 under his father, Henry Hunt, also a renowned artist. Richard worked as chief carver in Thunderbird Park at the Royal British Columbia Museum for more than a decade. He is now a freelance artist. Totem poles, masks, rattles and prints are in museums and private collections throughout North America and Europe. In 1991, Richard was the recipient of the prestigious Order of British Columbia, the first Native artist to be so honoured and in 1994 became a member of the Order of Canada.
In 2002, Richard received the Golden Jubilee Medal, the approved creation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in honour of her 50th anniversary of Her Accession to the Throne, and presented to citizens of Canada “who have demonstrated exceptional qualities and outstanding service to their country.” In May 2004, Richard was accepted into the membership of the Royal Academy of the Arts in recognition for his outstanding achievements within the visual arts.
In June 2004, Richard received an Honourary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria. This prestigious award has special meaning to Richard because his late father, Henry Hunt was awarded the same degree in 1983.
In May 2014, Richard was inducted into Victoria High School’s “Wall of Fame.”