Cook, Rande - K̕alapa
'Potlatches with Blankets to His Own Tribe'
Rande was born in 1977 on the Northern tip of Vancouver Island in the fishing town of 'Ya̱lis (Alert Bay), BC. He spent his growing up years in Alert Bay before moving to Victoria in 1991. His cultural heritage is from the ‘Na̱mǥis (Nimpkish), Ma'a̱mtagila (Matilpi) and 'Mama̱liliḵa̱la (Village Island) tribes. His grandparents, Chief Yaxyagas Gus Matilpi and Florence nee Mountain, raised him with strong cultural values and connection to his rich heritage. Rande’s grandfather taught him the essential elements of Kwakwa̱ka̱'wakw art and instilled in him how the artwork reflects and is connected to the culture. Rande has learned about the importance that the art holds and how it contributes to maintaining and preserving a thriving culture.
Among his influences, Rande credits his brother William Cook Jr., Waxawidi
(William Wasden Jr.), 'Walas G̱wa̱ʼya̱m (Beau Dick), Don Yeomans, 'Malidi (Bruce Alfred) and more recently, John Livingston. During his apprenticeship with John, Rande has explored woodcarving, mask making, box design and numerous other forms of coastal First Nations art. Rande says that from all of his mentors he has developed an appreciation for coastal artists and their many variations of style and expression.
Rande strengthens his culture by learning the songs of his Ancestors and singing at potlatches and gatherings. He is a renowned dancer and contributes to the preservation of Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw culture, which was once banned by the early Canadian government.
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