Tide Woman Story

By Alex Dawkins
Posted in News, on April 23, 2020

When considering Native art from the Pacific Northwest, there are actually very few Salish (approximate territory Seattle to Whistler) artists who create prints in their traditional aesthetic. Susan Point is the most prominent Salish printmaker, but there are just a handful of others. One of these others is Stan Greene. Stan Greene's crest is Wolf. His art forms include limited edition prints, wood carvings, masks, and poles. Stan started carving and painting in 1976 after studying at the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Art with Vernon Stephens, Ken Mowatt, Murphy Green, and Chuck Heit. While he formally learned to carve in a Northern style, he currently produces work in both Salish and Northern styles. Stan carved the Salish house posts at the Vancouver Expo of 1986, and in 1987, he carved a pole in Yokohama City, Japan. He was featured in the 'Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation 2' exhibit at the Museum of Art and Design in New York, NY, in 2005.

This print is dated 1978 and is both numbered and signed by the artist. This print tells the story of Tide Woman:

"Raven loved feasting on shellfish and crustaceans, but he was also lazy and hated scouring the sea every time he was hungry...which was often. Through speaking with animals and creatures in Northern British Columbia, he heard that there was a supernatural woman who controlled the tides. If he could trick this woman into peeling back the ocean for him, then he could feast with ease, without having to dive for his dinner. Raven eventually found this woman, though she was hiding in a tide pool. At first, the woman avoided and ignored Raven, but he was characteristically pesky. He finally resorted to harassing the woman by sticking sea-urchin spines into her buttocks until she promised to let the tides rise and fall each day. This allowed Raven to feast at his convenience, but it also enabled the human cultures along the coast to access the inter-tidal zone for food."

Stan Greene Tide Woman

The left side of this print shows the sea creatures in the tidal zone, the middle of the print shows Tide Woman, and the right side of the print shows Raven poking the woman with an urchin. Cheeky!