Balance in Art, Culture and Life

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Balance in Art

Balance: A condition in which different elements are equal or in correct proportions. Most Kwakwaka’wakw art achieves balance through symmetry.

Symmetrical Balance: Can be described as having equal “weight” on each side of the centre line. In most Kwakwaka’wakw art, you will observe that elements are arranged equally on either side or that one side is a mirror image of the other.

Balance in Culture: Kwakwaka’wakw knowledge comes from our living world. We see our relationships with each other and with nature as being interconnected. It is the natural resources, which surround our ancestors that sustained and made life possible.

Balance and harmony are central to the cultural practices of the Kwakwaka’wakw. The Kwakwaka’wakw continuously adapted and considered the impact of all actions on generations to come. Our knowledge is intricately bound to the interconnections between our immediate family, extended family, community and the larger natural and spiritual world.

For example:

“Seclusion and Spiritual Purification” (Xasała) originally done by new dance initiates seeking visions and spirit questing. This is done to find inner balance and oneness within one’s self.

Balance in Life

Physical - fitness, nutrition, communion with the natural world, relaxation, sensory, and tactile.

Emotional - healthy relationships, balanced emotions, caring capacity, empathy, interconnectedness, compassion, self-expression, empowerment.

Mental - intellectual stimulation, critical awareness, reflection, intuition, inquiry, visualization, pattern recognition, decision-making, problem solving, analysis, synthesis, evaluation.

Spiritual - inner guidance, higher purpose, calling to serve, deep inspiration, soul evolution.