Who was Bill Reid?

Perspectives on Bill Reid

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Dr. Martine Reid
"It would not have felt right"

Many people say, "Well, Bill didn't do very many masks," and this is true. He made a few masks to prove himself that he could do them. But he did not feel entitled to make masks because he was not involved in the Haida tradition, in the ritual and in the dances. And not having been, at that stage in his life (at the beginning of his career), being involved in the Haida rituals, he felt that it was inappropriate, that it would have been disrespectful, that it would have been a form of appropriation of his cultural heritage, regardless of the fact that he was entitled to it. But it did not feel it right, it would not have felt right.

Dr. Martine Reid, independent scholar, author and curator, interviewed at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art, 2008.