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.

Nisga’a artist Mitchell Morrison carved this alder beaver mask. The mask has deer bone inlay in the beaver’s teeth. The mask is 11″ high, 7.5″ wide, and 5″ deep. The price of the mask is $1750.

alder beaver mask

Mitchell Morrison   Nisga’a

Beaver mask

Alder, deer bone & paint – 11 x 7.5 x 5 inches