|Dimensions||6 × 6 × 14.5 in|
Nytom was commissioned to create a glass panel design for the entryway of the home of two friends who came together at a later time in life. The new moon is symbolic of a fresh start and a new love. A limited edition print was also created, and was handed out at a dinner to welcome family and friends to their home.
There are many events in nature that represent the cycle of life. Among many coastal tribes, the cycle of life is heralded by the spawning of the salmon each year. Young salmon migrate to their village far out in the ocean, and then after several years at sea endure an arduous journey fraught with dangers to return to their birth waters. The Salmon would always return because the tribes honored the Salmon People in their First Salmon Ceremonies. In doing so, they also teach the people to continue to overcome all odds–to survive and keep their traditional cultures alive.
Wolves mate for life, and Nytom often uses the wolf to inspire his imagination in creating new designs. In the cultures of coastal peoples the wolf means a great deal, and is used in ceremonies to remind us to first take care of our elders and young, before ourselves. The design shows two wolves paired off, looking at each other and another wolf pair yet to be born.
Certain First Nations of the Pacific Northwest Coast were great whalers. This design depicts the rivalry between ten whaling brothers. The oldest brother often made his prayers while on a sandbar, waiting for the incoming tide to cover his body. One day, while praying in this manner, his nine younger brothers attacked and killed him. During the fight, the oldest brother vowed that on an incoming tide his blood would find its way to their village. When his prediction came to pass, the people of the village avenged his murder by killing the remaining nine brothers. Many years later, the tragic history of this family was told by the elders at a village community gathering. The great-great-grandson of the brother who had been killed was asked by the elders to return home and take his rightful place among the Chiefs.
Making his way through this world as an artist has given Nytom opportunities to convey the deep meaning of the teachings passed down by his elders. An important teaching of his grandparents was, “It is the hearts of others with values that help preserve a positive way of life.” In this design ‘Children Born of the Sun’ there appears the idea of the importance of teaching others the ways of our people. The Sun is representative of the Creator to many cultures throughout the world, and together with the Earth it transforms all living things. Nytom’s grandmother liked to say that “when you see a rainbow in the sky, it means someone’s prayers are being answered.” The faces represent the spirits of our ancestors and children not yet born. How fortunate we are to have the sense of responsibility to teach others the ways of our people. We are truly all Children Born of the Sun.
Nytom often wonders what it would take to live in a perfect world: A place where people took only what they needed, left the rest for others and always got along. This image is what I imagined the world would be like if there was such a place.
This is a special design Nytom has often revisited. It represents him and his partner living in the Circle of Life. After Nytom moved to Sequim, they had a Christmas holiday party for their friends, to enjoy each other’s company while sharing in the holiday spirit. They presented each guest with a copy of this design to show their appreciation for honoring the invitation.