DescriptionKwakiutl Shamans Mask
Height 10 3/4 in. Width 6 3/4 in.
This carved and painted cedar wood mask has human features but its significance is not known. "Of all Northwest Coast artistic creations, masks have the greatest sculptural variety. They were worn at such social ceremonies as feasts and potlatches, at winter initiation ceremonies, and during magic and curing rituals performed by shamans. Often the exact significance of a mask has been lost because such information was only known by those who owned and used them." This mask is attributed to Lelooska.
Lelooska, aka Don Smith (1933-1996), was well known in the Pacific Northwest. He was of mixed-blood Cherokee heritage and adopted as an adult by the prestigious Kwakiutl Sewid clan. He emerged in the late 1950s as one of a handful of artists who proved critical in the renaissance of Northwest Coast Indian art.
Wardwell, Allen. Objects of Bright Pride. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1988, p. 38.
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