The Good Heart
Title: The Good Heart
Image size: 27 x 37 inches
Medium: Colored and graphite pencils, acrylic, watercolor and ink.

Original: $3000

The Good Heart is a portrait of John Sark, who was a Mi’kmaq chief from the Lennox Island Reserve, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, from1910 to 1930.

The Mi’kmaq believed that there was power and magic in the decorations they placed on their personal attire. An artistic representation of a sacred plant, for instance, was believed to have a protective effect upon the wearer that was as powerful as the actual plant itself. Consequently many of their garments and personal adornments had these designs woven into them.

Personal touches on John Sark’s coat are the hearts on each breast that were put there by a Maliseet on the occasion of the chief’s visit to their Reserve. They signify that he had a “good heart” towards them. A double-V in the center of the yoke was applied by a Mi’kmaq he visited at Cape Breton and are said to be the special symbol of that group.