Northwest Coast wood carvings and basketry are an important part of Northwest Coast ceremonies. There are many nations within this region.

Totem poles have been a part of most of the villages where bands of people gathered and have lived. The most important traditional poles are raised as memorials to important ancestors, histories, or events. The poles contained the animal and bird crests significant to the family and often dealt with the beginning of family history. The totem poles are erected to be visible within a community.

Masks are carved to represent all forms of life in the real world of the spirit. Animals, sea, and bird creatures make up the majority of the masks. Additionally there are carvings a spectrum of human and spirit masks. Masks also represent the shaman’s spiritual helpers, which he would try to influence in times of need. Sometimes masks are hung in houses to ward off harmful spirits.

This moon mask was carved from cedar by Cree artist Michelle Foley. Michelle lives on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The mask has a very large number of abalone shell inlays. The mask is 14″ high, 12″ wide, and 4″ deep. The price of the mask is $1900.

moon mask

Michelle Foley   Cree

Moon mask

Cedar, abalone shell, & paint – 14 x12 x 4 inches