This moon mask was carved from cedar by Cree artist Michelle Foley. Michelle lives on the west coast of Vancouver Island in the town of Tofino. She has been carving masks for more than 25 years. The mask has a very large number of abalone shell inlays. The mask is 14″ high, 12″ wide, and 4″ deep and it has been signed. The price of the moon mask is $1900.

Northwest Coast wood carvings and basketry are an important part of Northwest Coast ceremonies. Artists from a wide number of Native nations create wood totem  poles, masks, bowls, rattles, paddles, plaques, and other items.

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.

Tribal Crafts offers for sale Northwest Coast masks, bowls, totem poles, halibut hooks, and fine spruce root Haida basketry. Many of the items are used in traditional ceremonies.

moon mask

Michelle Foley   Cree

Moon mask

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