Uthlmuc – Yellow Cedar Man Transformation Mask

Red Cedar, Acrylic, Cedar Bark, Abalone, Brass Tacks, Fur, Feathers

This mask was made in 2001. It was originally meant to be the centerpiece of a solo exhibition with our gallery that would happen the next year, but Thompson became too ill to continue to work and the show was canceled.
Thompson loved transformation masks and their ability to portray the magical transformations so central to the metaphysical world of Nuu-chah-nulth culture and history. While working on this mask Art also produced the painting and serigraph series Bah-booq, which means “to create” for a potlatch. This was a period of time when he was very focused on the protocol around the potlatch and the idea of a community of people coming together to create an abundance of important and powerful art to display and distribute at potlatches.