Brown Bear

Alder, Pigments, Abalone, Opercula

One of the most well known stories on the coast is of the Bear Mother. It’s a story of a young woman kidnapped by bears. She is eventually rescued by her brother and returns home safely, but not before giving birth to twins, half human, half bear. The brown bear is one of a few animals that is used as a crest animal as well as a shamanic symbol. In fact the brown bear is the crest animal most often used by shaman. Brown bear were thought to have much in common with people and could understand human language.
This bear mask is done in the typical style showing the twins in the ears of the larger bear figure. The mouth is full of red turban snail operculum commonly used for teeth in masks. The nostrils are inlayed with the vent holes cut from an abalone shell.
-Scott Jensen