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Peter Smith began carving in 1995, under the tutelage of Winadzi James. Artist such as Walter Smith, Sam Johnson, Jack James and Allan James, whom he watched carve at a young age, have also heavily influenced his style. Peter’s carvings are characterized by a melding of traditional and contemporary elements.
At the age of 4, Peter was given the name “Giq-Kalas,” which means “Son of Great Importance” and can be traced to Gilford Island and Alert Bay. He has a great interest and knowledge in Kwakwaka’wakw traditions and the meanings of masks and the associated songs.
In 2011, Peter took the standing of Hereditary Chief, which was passed to him by his father, the late Chief Charles Smith. Peter is extremely passionate about and proud of his heritage.
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