Gorgeous Sea Bear, hand carved sterling silver bangle by Indigenous artist Sweewa. The Sea Bear is a mystical underwater protector.
Born in 1944 in New Westminster, British Columbia to a Coast Salish Indian mother, Sweewa spent the first 15 years of his life living in a float house drifting on the Fraser River. At age 11 he met with a terrible accident resulting in the loss of his left arm.
Having artistically gifted parents, grandparents and even great grandparents led Sweewa towards native art instead of baseball, football and the rough and tumble of kids. The Coast Salish are renowned for their weaving and basketwork and not so much for totemic art. Sweewa’s life long study of all native art styles is reflected in his work.
In 1962 he began several years of study at the Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr) before spending a dozen years as a commercial artist. Sweewa has carved wood and ivory, painted oils and water colour, made native drums and in 1996 he taught himself to engrave copper, silver, gold and platinum jewelry.