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.

Tsimshian artist Heber Reece carved this outstanding alder shaman mask. The mask has operculum and abalone shell, and is 18″ high, 12″ wide, and 6″ deep. The price of the mask is $3,000.

Tsimshian alder shaman mask

Heber Reece   Tsimshian

Shaman mask

Alder, operculum. abalone shell, & paint – 18 x12 x 6 inches