Serpent Dancer Mask

Red Cedar, Cedar Bark, Horse Hair, Decorative Feathers, Custom Wall Bracket

This mask shows the head of a dancer wearing a serpent headdress. The proper Nuu-chah-nulth names for these types of headdresses are Hinkeets or Heel-ikks-uubbs. This mask was inspired by a headdress that was owned by Patterson’s grandfather.

“My uncles, from the village of Ditidaht, used to dance these headdresses in the early 1900s. When they are danced they have a lot of strength, and with this comes responsibility. There is always certain protocol. Before the dance may begin the floor is cleansed with a prayer song.

I worked on this mask all through Christmas 2014. While everyone else did their Christmas thing, I focused on carving. It felt like I came into another place, I focused so hard.”

-Tom Patterson