Vintage Killer Whale Wall Plaque With Abalone Eye - Salish Orca Wood Carving

Regular price $ 325.00


  • Vintage item

The Coast Salish are a group of indigenous people living on the Pacific Northwest Coast, from the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon to the Bute Inlet deep in the mountains of the west coast of British Columbia. This handsome Western red cedar wall plaque in the form of an orca (aka killer whale) was carved by a Salish native. The curved orca whale leaping into the air symbolizes kindness, intelligence and compassion, reminding people of the importance of living in harmony with nature. The Salish Sea, named after the native people, is an inland sea extending across the northwest U.S.-Canada border that is home to orcas in the spring and fall, .

Turned horizontally, the carving reveals the head and body of a bird, with the dorsal fin of the orca becoming the feathered tail of the bird, seen in our photos #2 and #9. Northwest Coast art is known to incorporate multiple joined images like example. The carved details are deep and expertly done. The killer whale's inset eye is abalone shell. The piece is hand signed on the reverse: "By J. Murphy Shalish {sic} Native" along with the artist's JM cypher carved into the wood (both shown in our photos).

The carving measures 19 1/2 inches tall from the tip of the tail/bird's beak to the point of the raised dorsal fin and is nearly 1 inch thick. It's approximately 9 inches across at the widest point and weighs a bit over 1 pound. It is in excellent condition with a metal sawtooth hanger on the back for hanging on the wall. This orca carving is a beautiful, original indigenous artwork to treasure.


PYH 5043