Gary Synder – A Curse


Volcano Woman – Wayne Young – Northwest Coast (Nisga’a / Haida)

acrylic on paper
30″ x 23″


He Who Hunted Birds in His Father’s Village

The Dimensions of a Haida Myth

Gary Synder

The Curse From the Foreward:

“A curse on monocultural industrial civilization and its almost deified economic and political systems that compete, exploit, an then give vast wealth and power to a tiny few while draining and scattering the cultural and natural wealth of our planet, I say”



Description of the Painting

Artist Statement: Volcano Woman’s Tears 
The story of the Volcano Woman and her Frog-son, a myth of the Haida, describes how an entire village was destroyed by a volcano. Once, five young hunters, among them a Prince, went to a nearby stream to fish for trout. After they had caught some and roasted them for dinner, a large frog appeared and jumped onto the trout. The Prince at once caught the frog, threw it into the fire and killed it. But the frog was the son of the Volcano Woman. Soon the Prince and his companions heard the wailing of the Volcano Woman, My son! Give me back my son!, and the frightened hunters set off for their village. The woman cursed them as they ran, saying, Each of you shall die, one by one! And so it happened, the hunters dropping dead one by one, until only the Prince remained. As he reached the village and told of the disaster, he also died. The rumblings of the volcano increased as the wailing of the woman grew louder, and the fire and lava flows destroyed the entire village. Only a few people survived.
-Wayne Young

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