As a self-taught artist, Taylor spent years creating detailed and intricate designs with wonderful attention to detail and style. Some of his more popular designs include his cunning Bukwus, and alluring Dzunukwa. His clam, mussel and cockle shell pendants are among his most popular of pendants, as they appeal to collectors seeking unique pieces. These whimsical shell pendants are created from three pieces that are soldered together, one of which is a man’s face peering out from inside the shell.
Taylor has recently been working on large scale wood pieces, including full size regalia pieces and totem poles. If you are interested in custom ordering work by this artist, please contact us for more information.
Bukwus Pendant by James Taylor
Buk’wus is said to be a drown fisherman who swam to shore, and is one of the most fearsome spirits in the forest. Buk’wus is a reclusive ghost spirit who lives in an invisible house, deep in the forest. He is only three feet tall, is repulsive and ugly, and he survives on spirits – though cockles are his favorite food to feast on. Buk’wus is known to use a whistle to lure people into his vicinity. When he convinces them to share a meal with him, he serves them ghost food which traps them in the spirit world, eventually transforming them into another Buk’wus. Buk’wus is often depicted with cockle shells.
Buk'wus has been known to appear in the presence of those who are involved in self-sabotaging behavior, such as drug or alcohol addiction, or any means of harming others through the harm of oneself. In this way, Buk'wus can signify the overcoming of personal obstacles and challenges, and choosing the brighter path that is available.
Buk’wus can be identified by his human-like features and large hooked nose. He is often depicted with wild hair and cockle shells.
Cheryl Shearar Understanding Northwest Coast Art (2000)
Campbell River Museum & Archives