'Namgis artist John Lancaster grew up in the small fishing village of Alert Bay, located on Cormorant Island off the northeastern coast of Vancouver Island. His family crests include Wolf and Sun. In 1986, John began learning to design and engrave jewellery with indigenous designs representing his cultural teachings and traditions. His cousin Alfred Seaweed was instrumental in teaching him the skills employed for fashioning jewellery from silver, copper and gold.
Jennifer began selling John Lancasters work in 1991, as a volunteer in the Campbell River Museum. She later met him while working for Ellen Portman of Crescent Moon Gallery, and was delighted to purchase from him directly when Copper Moon Gallery opened in 2004. John Lancaster resides in Victoria on southern Vancouver Island, and continues to create beautiful and timeless adornments. We accept custom orders for this artist.
Copper & Silver Eagle Earrings by John Lancaster
Eagle represents vision, peace, friendship and prosperity. Eagle feathers are very sacred, and are used in ceremonies. Eagles are commonly depicted with Salmon, as they have excellent fishing skills. As Eagles are unable to release their talons mid-flight, they have been known to drown if they choose too large and powerful a fish to grab onto. Eagle is very noble and is often described as having a moral conscience in Legend. Eagle Down is cherished and highly valued for use in ceremony.
In Haida society, one is born to either the Eagle or the Raven clan. Each clan carries a number of crests, some of which are shared, and some of which are exclusive. As one must always marry outside of their clan, Eagle and Raven together represent love.
Eagles are depicted with a short curved beak, and sometimes have an appendage on the head. When Eagle has an appendage, he is easy to confuse with Thunderbird – but Thunderbird’s appendage is curled on the end, making it quite distinct and recognizable.
Cheryl Shearar Understanding Northwest Coast Art (2000)
Campbell River Museum & Archives