Sebastian, Ron A.

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Sebastian, Ron A.

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Ron A. Sebastian is from the Gitxsan and the Wet'suwet'en Nations. His name is Gwin Butsxw from the house of Spookw of the Lax Gibuu Clan (Wolf Clan). In the early 1970s, Sebastian studied carving and design at the Kitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Native Art at ‘Ksan Village, Hazelton, B.C. His work, which includes wood carvings (masks, bowls, bent boxes, rattles, talking sticks, rhythm canes, murals and totem poles of all sizes), graphic art, and gold and silver jewellery, can be found in museums and private collections throughout North America, Europe and Japan. His larger pieces include three murals, carved together with Earl Muldoe, for the main lobby of Les Terrasses de la Chaudiere, new home of the Department of Indian Affairs in Hull, Quebec ; a cedar panel carved together with brother Robert E. Sebastian for a new school in Takla Landing ; a round mural carved for the Smithers Dze_l_K'ant Friendship Center ; and a totem pole carved for the front of the Two Rivers Art Gallery in Prince George. In 1992, Sebastian carved an elaborate pair of Chief's chairs and a talking stick with a base stand for UNBC. These carvings are used on special occasions (such as Convocation) by the President and Chancellor. The mace, ceremonial chairs and the doors to the University Senate were carved by Ron A. Sebastian, and were presented in early 1992, in time for the inaugural Convocation. The mace/talking stick includes thirteen traditional Indian crests, which represent all the tribes/clans of northern British Columbia. They are, from top to bottom: Wolf, Black Bear, Beaver, Wolverine, Caribou, Mountain Goose, Frog, Raven, Thunderbird, Fireweed, Killer Whale, Owl, and Eagle. In the centre is an additional human face representing all peoples. The mace/talking stick rests in a base of red cedar, carved in the form of a salmon, which is meant to indicate all the people in the region. The chairs include, at top and bottom, a human mask and sun, representing mankind but particularly students and counsellors, while the other symbols again represent the various First Nations peoples in the University’s region. The Chancellor’s Chair includes representations of the thunderbird, frog, beaver, grouse, fireweed, owl, eagle, and killer whale, with arm rests carved in the shape of a wolf. The President’s Chair includes representations of the grizzly bear, wolf, caribou, black bear, crow, frog, moose, and mountain goose, with arm rests carved in the shape of a raven.


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Revised on April 24, 2012 by KS.


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