T’samuus – the Sea Monster – is a Supernatural creature. He takes many forms (and different names) in myths and legends passed down through oral histories along the Northwest Coast (of Canada). T’samuus could be feared by Ancestors when travelling. (He could come out of the water at any time and tip over the canoe.)
This T’samuus sculpture, by Haida Artist Lyle Campbell, is a gentle creature called Tide Walker. Tide Walker lives between two worlds – Ocean and Forrest. He greatly enjoys walking the ocean water’s edge. The personal connection to Tide Walker’s story was revealed to Lyle while he was carving the sculpture:
“He is walking by the sea’s edge, admiring the beauty of the Ocean and her shoreline. It’s his favorite thing to do. Tide Walker has appeared in many of our Edenshaw Poles of old. Our Family had a deep affinity for him. And now I know why. As I carve moments of my childhood flash in my mind. Walking along Second Beach beside the old cemetery with my chinny (Haida name for Grandfather). We were picking agates (clear little rocks primarily formed within volcanic and metamorphic rocks), as we often did on a nice day. Many years later, during a more recent trip back home, I relived this childhood moment, walking with my wife Kim, our niece Brittany and grandson Charly on exactly the same beach, doing exactly what we all just loved to do… picking agates.
You see, my family loved Tide Walker because of his affinity for the beach and his love for our homeland. I Carve him now, in the finishing stages, with careful hands and a newfound connection. He lives within us all. He loves nature and so must we. By doing so we’ll save this planet and all its wild creatures. During uncertain times such as these (during COVID period) we can learn from our mythology and the wisdom of our Ancestors. Reconnecting to our Mother Earth.”
Lyle Campbell, 2020
Tide Walker sculpture is adorned with a few of his fellow ocean going inhabitants. His walking stick itself is an Octupus tentacle
with Killer Whale perched on top. His hat includes rings and an incised Sculpin (a fish species, belonging to the superfamily Cottoidea in the order Scorpaeniformes). And on his blanket there is the design ‘Sea Wolf’. The sculpture is carved all around and painted traditional black and red, with ghostly, spirit like colors – blue (light blue; light turquoise) and some white.