Gunakadeit is a mythological supernatural being, a sea monster, who they say brought wealth. The moment I heard the entire backstory from my mentor and legendary Master Artist Nathan Jackson, I was intrigued. The short version is somebody actually captured this sea monster. He skinned it out and placed the skin over himself. There was an orb in it that presented the man with a caveat - he would be granted the privilege of being the supernatural being if he promised to be back by sunrise the following day. The man agrees and transforms into the sea monster. He spends his day by doing good and serving his people, delivering to them food and wealth from the ocean. Gunakadeit starts falling in love with the praises bestowed upon him from the people. He doesn’t want to leave the prominent position he is in. This eventually leads to his demise, as he does not fulfill his promise.
This design speaks to that side of human nature that is the battle of our intentions. It is meant to remind us to be mindful of what motivates us. Is it to genuinely help people or is it driven by the lure of praise and adoration? - Robert K. Mills
This design was featured in Smithsonian Magazine. The full story can be found here: www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/215-million-year-old-sharp-nosed-marine-reptile-was-among-last-its-kind-180974276
Robert Mills is a lifelong resident of Southeast, Alaska. Specifically, he calls the village of Kake his home. Robert is a Tlingit artist of the Tsaagweidi clan who works with metal, paint and wood.