Norman Tait, Canadian First Nations artist, Died at 75

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Norman Tait was born in 1941, in Kincolith (Gingolx) and died on May 21, 2016.

Tait a Canadian First Nations artist and totem pole carver from the Nisga’a nation of northwestern British Columbia.

Norman was the son of Josiah Tait, also a carver and the great-grandson of Chief Alfred Watson Mountain, Sganism Sim’oogit.

Tait was a member of the House of Luuya’as of the Laxsgiik (Eagle clan) and holds or has held the hereditary titles Na’ax-lax, Gawaakhl, and Naawootkw Lik’inskw lax galts’ap, the last meaning “Grizzly Bear Coming onto the Village.”

Tait started carving in the 70’s, and sought out Nisga’a artifacts that he could study as there were no living Nisga’a master carvers for him to study.

Then, he studied under the tutelage of the Haida carvers Freda Diesing and Gerry Marks.

He was recognised for his realistic detailing of his sculptured carving, moon masks, two-dimensional design doors, and jewellery.

Prior to his death, he works with his carving partner, Lucinda Turner.

Norman Tait started teaching Turner in 1991 and they have subsequently completed many carvings, including two major commissions for the Vancouver Stock Exchange.

Together they also opened an art gallery Wilp’s Tsaak Gallery, as well as work there- House of the Mischievous Man in West Vancouver.

Norman Tait passed away at 75 yrs old.

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