- Gemstones: Abalone, Argillite
- Measurements: 2 5/16" X 1 1/4" / 57mm X 31mm
- Artists: Gryn White
- Totem Symbols: Killer Whale
- Styles: Canadian First Nations, Gemstone Jewelry
- Categories: Pendants
Killer Whales or Orcas symbolize love of all types, representing romance, loyalty and close ties between family and friends. It offers protection to travelers far from home, helping to guide your journey back. In myth the Orca is closely linked to humans; it is said that those lost at sea are transformed into these whales and have gone to live in a underwater village. Seen as the guardian of the ocean, the Orca is a strong spirit, which symbolizes longevity, resiliency and knowing that you are not alone.
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.
Abalone is the inner shell of a marine mollusk, which comes in a variety of blues, greens, pinks, browns and blacks. Here in the West Coast abalone was a food source, and the shells were used for necklaces, head dresses, ornamentation and money. Abalone is said to have a calming influence, especially during emotional situations, and upheaval; bringing stability during tides of emotion. Also, it is considered good at boosting intuition and imagination, helping you to come up with new ideas when you are feeling blocked.
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.