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Qwayaciiq is from Ahousaht, BC of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Tribe on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. His Father; Tsaa-siits (Stanley
 
Sam), an accomplished carver, true Historian and storyteller, and speaker for the Chiefs of The Wolf Clan, a privilege that is passed on
 
from his grandfather. His late Mother, Katie Sam, was also a very talented in making traditional shawls, beadwork, drum making and
 
preparation of the seasonal traditional foods. Many gifts of creativity she has passed on to her children. Qwayaciiq feels very fortunate to
 
have grown up immersed in the richness of his culture and he participates as a singer and dancer. His family ties and connections with his
 
people are very strong in his life.Qwayaciiq began making drums in 1986 for ceremonial purposes, then in 1987 was commissioned to make
 
drumsfor Bill Reid, Robertson Davidson, and Roy Vickers.In 1990 he was commissioned to make drums for the Inuit Gallery in Vancouver
 
for a Drum Exhibit. Qwayaciiq was interviewed by BCTV when they visited Ahousaht to shoot footage for a documentary on the making of
 
drums and their importance in cultural ceremonies. Qwayaciiq is an accomplished painter and carver; his carving career began under the
 
tutelage of Patrick Amos in 1991-1992. In 1997 Qwayaciiq and a number of other artists, assisted Patrick in carving a totem pole for the
 
Alberni District Secondary School, as well as designing and completing a mural for the Hahopayuk School in Port Alberni, BC.  Qwaya's work
 
can be found in different collections and galleries on the Both the West and East Coast. Some of his paddles have gone to Africa to the
 
World AIDS Conference 2002, and presented to Swahili Chiefs, in honor and acknowledgement of the Conference.  Other presentations
 
include presentations to senators from Hawaii and Alaska, and to private collectors in Canada .His masks all have their own spirit, and bring
 
with them generations of teachings, stories, and a wealth of culture from the Nuu-Chah-Nulth Territory. Qwayaciiq prefers to work with alder
 
for it's unique texture and his carvings often express his own spiritual journey and connection to the sacred rituals of his people. His spirit
 
masks posses an element of gentleness that makes them truly unique. Qwaya  recently graduated from Emily Carr University with a BFA in
 
Visual Arts.

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