Masks In Native American Culture
The Raven is considered to be a trickster. He has magical powers and can often create things just by imagining them. The Raven is also considered to be a hero, for it was supposedly the Raven who discovered the first human beings hiding inside a clamshell! Certain masks depict cannibal Ravens which feast on human flesh, which I shall talk about …show more content…
However, Europeans also brought diseases to the tribes of the northwest which decimated the population. As natives were converted to Christianity, less importance was given to traditional ceremonies. Native tribal culture has disappeared almost totally. However, contemporary artists of Northwest Native American origin have continued the ancient craft of mask making and in turn introduced a new art form. These artists combine traditional techniques and traditional forms with contemporary artistry. Contemporary masks grace the walls of many art galleries today. And so, not only are Northwest Coast masks artifacts which can be seen in natural history museums and appreciated for the vital role they played in tribal ceremonies, but they are now considered by many to be art objects of high worth.
1. Northwest Coast Indians Coloring Book 2. Edward Malin, A World of Faces, p. 50
Malin, Edward, A World of Faces: Masks of the Northwest Coast Indians. Timber Press, Portland Oregon,