behind the attic wall: part three- ww two canadian newspaper headlines

IMG_4700These newspapers were an intense part of the cache. The stack was about 2 feet tall but trashed by mice and a leaking roof over the 50 years they’d been sealed in the dark cavity.

IMG_4701The mixture of fonts and colors makes my heart race.

IMG_4682Royal Canadian Navy. Salacious war art.

IMG_4692IMG_4702IMG_4693IMG_4705I would love to believe this illustration was honoring the 4,000 (+) Aboriginal men and women who voluntarily enlisted in the second world war. The gun raised in the air representing the large proportion of First Nations who were sharp shooters. The Hudson Bay Company color coat and stripes around his legs makes me think otherwise. The artist’s totem pole rendering is puzzling. Closest in style to the Kwakwaka’wakw tribe; the two creatures depicted are supernatural beings. On top is Thunderbird, so large it can lift whales out of the ocean. The one on the bottom -I’m pretty certain, though the outstretched arms isn’t a common way to depict her**- is wild woman of the forest, Dzunk’wa, the cannibal spirit. Why did the artist choose these two beings? Other than the fact they are both terrifying and powerful. I hope it wasn’t as simple as aesthetic reasons when the poles carry significant meaning to coastal First Nations.Then again, this is the art of war.

Last installment of behind the attic wall & my favorite of it all: illustrative depictions of women during world war two!

** I’ve found there’s a totem pole like the drawing in Stanley Park but I could only find a picture of Dzunk’wa on the bottom. Later in the day I picked up a 1978 CAA Explore Canada reference reader, that was going into the recycle bin.

IMG_4797Ha! Something in the universe swept in and said “Oh, you think you know a thing or two, do you?” There’s no photo credit to where it is or who carved it and in fact when I look closely at it, it looks like a model not a true totem… is it a new moon?… wow, yes it is.

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7 comments
  1. SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. Oh my gosh, I would go crazy googling and facebook-searching for anyone mentioned in those papers! Sure they’d be really old and stuff, but anyway!

    • lysette said:

      Ha! I totally didn’t think of that. My Dad was a baby and his parents would have been reading these papers when they were coming out – well Grandma would have; Grandpa was in the navy. It must have been so overwhelming to be starting a family during a world war… I also just realized that Bing Crosby on the front cover singing with the women… omg! I might go down a rabbit hole!

  2. FoodFeud said:

    The colors are beautiful, yes.
    Where did you learn about the Native tribes and their beings?

    • FoodFeud said:

      I had to go read about Dzunk’wa; she rules.

    • lysette said:

      I am a sponge for anything to do with storytelling and otherworldly beings! Aeons ago I took a Indigenous west coast art course in university. I loved the class, did my report on the wild man, Bak’was, chief of ghosts. I flipped though my books and couldn’t find this totem, then searched online and the closest thing I could find to it is the pole in a Big House on Cormorant Island… ha I just looked a bit further and there is a totem in Stanley Park in Vancouver with Dzunkwa’s arms open, connected to west coast artist Emily Carr. Check her out, she’s a total hero of mine!

  3. Scuzzy Beth said:

    You best be hoarding those illustrations back in your walls. Baby wants that totem pole one framed in his room. Seriously though. Please tell me these didn’t go to recycling..

    • lysette said:

      Scuzzzzzy!! Nope, all of it is laying on a pile of lumber in the basement. Hoarding is in our DNA. I am fighting this while trying to mercilessly clean up the store. I should catalog what I am tossing out/recycling and why. I’m also the person people bringing in books don’t want to deal with. After looking through three boxes I’m like “I will take this -one- book, sorry no, please don’t ‘donate’ the rest to us, no seriously take these books away. I’ll help you carry them out” I am being nice about it, if a bit defeated.

      I will consider what baby wants. It would look good with the Warhol.

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