Wednesday 30 March 2011: Seagull Transformation Mask
Nasty day. Time for an indoor blip - some art work.
This is a transformation mask made by a member of the NW Coast Makah tribe, in the NW corner of the Olympic peninsula. It hangs on our dining room wall and every grandkid knows the story by heart. A Makah whaler from Neah Bay is out looking for whales when his canoe is capsized and lost. He is so far from land that he probably can't swim so a black seagull comes along and offers to transform him into a seagull so that he can fly home safely. The mask changes from a man to a black seagull by pulling the strings. I tried to light it from below to get some small sense of how it might be lit in a winter ceremony by firelight and cast big shadows. This one is made of alder, wolf and sheep, with abalone eyes. It's really beautiful.
previously I have blipped the other mask in our collection Dzonokwa