Nancy Williams, daughter of Ray and Ida Williams, was born September 1958 on the Ditidaht Reservation (Nitinaht Lake) on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia Canada and is a member of the Ditidaht Nation and a fifth generations carver. The Williams family have been carving and selling totem poles ever since Sam moved to Washington State in the early 1900's. The family is well known by collectors all over North America and in some cases in Europe as well.
Nancy began carving at the age of nine, taught by her father Ray. In the beginning, Nancy carved masks, plaques and talking sticks, but the real family tradition were totem poles. She also learned to knit and to bead from her mother Ida, who was also an accomplished artist from the Cowichan tribe, from Duncan BC.
Nancy continues the family tradition of carving totem poles, despite being a mother of five. Some are painted, some stained, some have abalone insets. Some are simply carved and some are ornate, with cut-through designs. And they are alive with carved figures of thunderbirds, frogs, killer whales, salmon and more. The designs of the poles have been passed on through the family.
Eagle and Whale Totem Pole by Nancy Williams
Eagle and Whale Totem Pole by Nancy Williams, Ditidath First Nation