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translation. With this biography, Martens has placed himself at the forefront of Grove studies. His work provides an example of the contribution to the scholarship on Canadian literature being made abroad, and particularly in Germany. (HELMUT REICHENBACHER) Martha Black. Bella Belin: A Season ofHeiltsuk Art Royal Ontario Museum, Douglas and Mcintyre, University of Washington Press. x, 224. $45.00 Heiltsuk artists of the central coast of British Columbia occupied a pivotal position in Northwest Coast art and the complex ceremonial systems which it supported. The work of Heiltsuk carvers, painters, and basket-makers is found throughout museum collections in North America and Europe. Nonetheless, little has been known about individual Heiltusk artists, and their works have often been miscatalogued as Haida or Tsimshian. In Bella Bella: A Season ofHeiltsuk Art, Martha Black has written a book which is as valuable for what it makes possible as for what it does. This scholarly examination of the Heiltsuk collection assembled near the rum of the century for the Ontario Provincial Museum (now part of the Royal Ontario Museum) by the Methodist missionary Richard Whitfield Large places both the collection and its component works in historical and cultural context. It also provides an excellent basis for the recontextualization of many Heiltsuk objects in other museum collections. R.W. Large moved to Bella Bella as physician and missionary in 1898. During the twelve years he was there he actively promoted the conversion of Heiltsuk people to Christianity. Like other coastal missionaries, such as Thomas Crosby and George Raley, he collected objects which often represented precisely the ways of life and thought his missionary program sought to discourage. Black has provided a concise historical overview of the establishment of the Heiltsuk community of Waglisla (Bella Bella) and its character at the time Large was in residence. The historical information she brings to bear is an important contribution to the growing literature on the manner in which late nineteenth-century First Nations people in British Columbia accommodated the pressures to adopt new religious beliefs and modes of life while finding ways to support and protect their O\!Vll cultural practices. In alt Large sent 284 objects to the Ontario Provincial Museum. Black's analysis and catalogue deal primarily with the '128 objects of ethnographic and artistic significance which are still available and have sufficient associated documentation to warrant their inclusion. Most of the other objects became part of the ROM's archaeological collections, while a few were exchanged with museums in other countries, in accordance with 514 LETTERS IN CANADA 1997 museum practice in the early part of the twentieth century. A list of the complete collection is provided in a concordance. In addition to the catalogue, which includes short descriptions and photographs of each object, the book is augmented by several other useful appendices, including a list of Methodist missionaries in Bella BeUa between 188o and 1914, a chronology of Large's life, a list of contributors to the collection, and the prices paid. Many of the objects in Large's collection were new when he purchased them, and his collection thus provides a window into a specific period of Heiltsuk culture and art history. Large also recorded the names of the contributors to his collection. This has enabled Black to use other ethnohistoric sources and the techniques of art history to discuss the work and lives . of five Bella Bella carvers, Chief Robert Belt Captain Carpenter, Enoch, General Dick, and Daniel Houstie. While the discussion focuses on the works in the Large collection, Black makes reference to related works in other collections. This is the core of the book, and will nndoubtedly become a touchstone for analyses of Heiltsuk art outside the Large collection. Bella Bella: A Season ofHeiltsuk Art is a neatly focused scholarly treahnent of a topic which has long been neglected. The analysis is balanced~ and the text is lucid. The book is beautifully designed, with photographs in both black and white and colour, and excellent maps. Accessible to all who are interested in Northwest Coast history and art~ this is a fine contribution to Heiltsuk history, the history and art history of British Columbia First Nations, and to museum studies...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1712-5278
Print ISSN
0042-0247
Pages
pp. 513-514
Launched on MUSE
2014-07-02
Open Access
No
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