Every year the herring come back to the waters of the northwest coast to begin their spawning season which awakens the life of the ocean. The sealions follow the herring and so do all species of salmon. For many thousands of years my ancestors have looked forward to the return of the herring because this meant fresh herring eggs. From the first sign of herring spawn the people ready all manner of ways to harvest the eggs. Young trees are cut and weighted so they can be suspended from an anchor at the ocean floor, to hang submerged for the herring to spawn on the branches. The trees are then pulled from the ocean looking like christmas trees covered in white herring eggs. The branches are cut and taken back to the village to be prepared for eating. Sea grass is covered with herring eggs and is harvested as well by divers who brave the ice cold waters. Today the most modern method is to hang a special kelp from floats; the kelp is eaten along with the eggs.

The excitement begins with the sighting of Milky Waters, which is a phenomenon caused by the milky sperm that the male herring deposits where ever the spawning females are found.

So this is a rendition showing people in a canoe who have just found the creamy colour showing in the ocean, during the time of the moon of MILKY WATERS.


Edition Date: July 2003
Artist: Roy Henry Vickers
Medium: Serigraph
Image Size: 18" Diameter
Edition Size: 150