Xótxwes qas kayse’me
Shxwqwó:lthels (wood carving)
Location: Indigenous Affairs Office
University of the Fraser Valley
Xótxwes qas kayse’me is a Stó:lō artist from the Xwchíyò:m First Nation. Although mostly self-taught, he acknowledges Francis Horne, Sr. as being his teacher and mentor. In addition to carving, Xótxwes qas kayse’me also draws and paints.
Xótxwes qas kayse’me says that it is because his Elders kept traditional knowledge alive that he knows how to carve today. “We learn from our past, from our Elders. When we make a carving, we pass on their stories and that way we keep our teachings and culture alive.
“This carving was about nine years in the making, and everything on it has a meaning. I didn’t know what it was going to be, but when I started saying my prayers and cutting, the shape just started to come alive. Art is life for me – I see it in everything.”