Renowned Nisga'a carver Norman Tait dies at 75
Totem poles carved by Norman Tait stand in Vancouver, around the world
A master carver and world-renowned Nisga'a artist has died. Norman Tait was 75 years old.
Tait's totem poles have been raised around the world, including Chicago, Osaka, Japan, Vancouver's Stanley Park and University of British Columbia's Museum of Anthropology. He even carved and raised a totem pole for the Royal Family in 1992, which still stands in Bushy Park in London, England.
Tait was also known for his carved masks, metal jewelry and prints.
"His pieces evoke strong feelings in people who see them. Because he's a storyteller, speaking in an authentic, distinctive Nisga'a voice," read an announcement from 2012, when Tait was awarded the British Columbia Creative Lifetime Achievement Award For First Nations Art.
Born in 1941 in the Nisga'a village of Gingolx, B.C., Tait attended residential school in Edmonton before completing high school in Prince Rupert, British Columbia.
The son of celebrated carver Josiah Tait, Norman Tait's brother Robert Tait and son Isaac Tait are also well-known artists.
Norman Tait died on May 21. As word of his death spread, many took to social media to express their condolences.
<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DearMasterCarver?src=hash">#DearMasterCarver</a> sometimes you lose one of the greats... <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NormanTait?src=hash">#NormanTait</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WeepingVolcanoWoman?src=hash">#WeepingVolcanoWoman</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TrueMasterCarver?src=hash">#TrueMasterCarver</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RIP?src=hash">#RIP</a> <a href="https://t.co/kYlDFiPdh9">pic.twitter.com/kYlDFiPdh9</a>—@blueravenart
RIP <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NormanTait?src=hash">#NormanTait</a> and condolences to the Tait family. Losing such a wonderful talent leaves an empty space in our industry.—@FriendlyCove
RIP Norman Tait, one of our very most talented and skilled.<a href="https://t.co/PLn3x7nofe">https://t.co/PLn3x7nofe</a>—@AJBBM