Ditidaht students create ceremonial curtain for their school

Published on January 17, 2017

Ron Hamilton was invited to Ditidaht Community School to help the students create a ceremonial curtain.


Malachan (Ditidaht First Nation) — 

The Language and Culture Team at Ditidaht Community School (Dorothy Shepherd, Cyril Edgar and Dave Mason) invited noted historian and artist Ron Hamilton to help the school create a curtain to represent the students and the story of the school.

The curtain will be used at all school assemblies and whenever the students are dancing. Hamilton was in the community during the week of Jan. 9, and with his help the students and others in the community learned a lot about the cultural importance of curtains for Nuu-chah-nulth people.

“Our project received blessings from curtain holders in the community, all of whom were pleased to see curtains taught in the classroom,” Mason told Ha-Shilth-Sa. “Curtain holders such as Paul Tate have graciously agreed to have their hand prints included on the curtain in the sun featured near the top.”

Hamilton worked closely with students to envision the design, and many students are featured in elements of the 10-ft by 20-ft work.

One student's figure is found within the grey whale, for example, that is painted in the centre of the curtain. 

The curtain is scheduled to be finished by the end of January and presented to the school and community on Feb. 2 at the lunchtime assembly. All are welcome to watch the curtain being presented and displayed for the first assembly.