- Gemstones: Argillite
- Artists: Gryn White
- Totem Symbols: Hawk, Moon
- Styles: Canadian First Nations, Gemstone Jewelry
- Categories: Pendants
The Moon is seen in Northwest Coast mythology as a guardian and protector of the people, one of the most powerful beings. He acts as guide, and timekeeper, giving good luck and abundance to the people. The moon is often seen in a Ravens mouth which depicts a creation myth where the Raven releases the sun, moon, and stars into the sky. An eclipse is said to be a Codfish trying to swallow the moon.
The Hawk is a symbol of strength and courage. Many tribes honour the Hawk before conflict, believing it will offer protection in war. It is seen to have the power of far reaching observation and foresight, guiding you on when to take the lead.
Argilite is a fine-grained sedimentary rock, often called “black slate”, and is renowned by the Haida nation for carving. The Haida began carving argillite in response to the early curio trade of the 1820's, allowing them to trade with early European explorers and settlers. Soon the artistic accomplishments of the Haida in the use of materials such as wood, horn, and stone included this new medium. While argillite used to be known as a form of tourist art, it has grown to become one of the most sought after art forms in North American First Nations art. Even today, argillite continues to be carved exclusively by Haida artists both on Haida Gwaii and in the Vancouver and Victoria areas.
Gryn White’s aboriginal name is Duugwi, means “Strong Haida”, and he has descended from an impressive lineage of renowned artists. His great-great grandfather is Charles Edenshaw (1839-1920), a chief of the StA’stas Eagle clan and who was considered the most influential Haida artist of his time. Gryn has been carving since 2002, and learned many of his skills through his father, Greg Lightbown While. Gryn works with a variety of media, he is well-known for his argillite carving. In recent years, he has become proficient in inlay work. In 2008, he was one of fourteen argillite carvers featured in the book Breathing Stone by Carol Sheehan.