Michael Dangeli is very cool!
I am using his studio at the Aboriginal Friendship Centre in Vancouver to carve a cedar wood dragon boat tail for the SeaVancouver Festival. We are under the coordination of carver Eric Neighbor. I am carving an interpretation of the Gung Haggis Fat Choy logo, designed by my friend David Wong of e-Atelier. Michael is carving a First Nations design that may have transformation qualities.
Dangeli is from the Nisga’a, Tlinget and Tsimshian Nation; his
traditional name is Goothl T’similx, which means “the heart of the
beaver lodge”. We spend some time talking about First Nations
art, connecting with spirit, similarities between Chinese and Native
He had just gotten off the phone with Robert Davidson,
whom he calls a big mentor figure for him. I quickly share that I have
Robert Davidson's “Split Beaver” design hanging on my bedroom wall,
along with Susan Point's “Spirit of an Eagle.”
is interested in hearing more about the Gung Haggis Fat Choy: Robbie
Burns Chinese New Year Dinner that I organize. He likes the
fusion quality of the event. He tells me about a story that
inspired the creation of a “Wild Woman” mask, that began with his
teenage son's accidental meeting a transvestite in Vancouver.
There are no accidents, he explains… His son was fresh from Alaska
and not used to the big city. Spirits appear sometimes to
challenge us in many ways… Michael created a “Wild Woman” that fuses
urban elements. Maybe she will appear at the next Gung Haggis Fat
Choy dinner, January 22, 2006?
I like Michael Dangeli. After our conversation, I really feel the word “Namaste”
resonate inside me. It is a Hindu/Sanskrit term that means “the
spirit/presence in me, recognizes the spirit/presence in you…”
I will ask Michael for a Nisga'a word equivalent.