Gwawis (Raven of The Sea)

Red Cedar, Cedar Bark, Paint

Artist Statement:

In Kwakwaka’wakw culture, it is believed that what we see on land has a counterpart in the sea. The Gwawis (Raven of the Sea) is a part of the undersea kingdom that is governed by Kumugwe, Chief of the Undersea Kingdom. When I created this piece I wanted to highlight the characteristics associated with creatures of the undersea kingdom. The characteristics of this mask include a full set of copper painted teeth, flared nostrils, large eyes like that of a fish, and C-forms around the eye sockets, mouth and bottom jaw to depict scales.  Rich greens, light blue, deep yellows and reds remind me of the colors of the sea, and to tie the composition together I used the color black. Lastly, I adorned the mask with cedar bark rope and plumage of cedar bark down the back.