'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 Moon Pendant by John Lancaster
Though Moon is not a common crest, it is affiliated with transformation. Mover of tides, Moon is viewed as a very powerful protector and is often associated with Medicine people.
Moon is affiliated with Wolf, as both are considered nocturnal. Moon is also associated with Killer Whale and Lingcod, as it is believed that during the eclipse, the Moon had been swallowed by such sea creatures – so great fires were lit to choke the sea creature until they spat Moon back out into the night sky. Sometimes, Moon has a labret marking on the lower lip to symbolize female energy. Of course the most famous story of all involving the Moon is that of Raven bringing light to the world. For this reason, Raven is often depicted with a full moon in his beak.
MOON STEALS A WOMAN
A woman called Tspilk-ola’k-a and her daughter, Tlaluakoagyilkaka’so, were living together in Tlamnos. The daughter was very beautiful and so the Moon Man resolved to steal her. He descended from the sky and asked Tspilk-ola’k-a for some water. She sent her daughter willingly to the well to get fresh water, but she had scarcely set foot out of the door when the Moon Man seized her and took her up into the sky with him. So Tspilk-ola’k-a became sad and moved to Naue’te. After some time the Moon Man came down again and asked a woman for water. When Tspilk-ola’k-a heard him coming she warned the woman not to go outside because the Moon Man would take her with him. But she didn’t listen to the advice and the Moon Man abducted her when she stepped out of the door. The girl with her container can still be seen in the moon today.
From Indian Myths & Legends from the North Pacific Coast of America; A translation of Franz Boas 1895 Edition of Indianische Sagen von der Nord-Pacifischen Kuste Amerikas - ‘Legends of the Tlatlasikwala;’ Page 409
Franz Boas Indian Myths & Legends from the North Pacific Coast of America: A Translation of Franz Boas' 1895 Edition of Indianische Sagen von der Nord-Pacifischen Kuste Amerikas (2006)