March 31, 2012

George David Sea Raven Transformation Mask

Currently in the gallery we have a Sea Raven Transformation mask by Nuu-chah-nulth artist George David, brother of Joe David. This mask was carved in December 1990 in Neah Bay, WA, where George was living at the time. The outside shell is carved from red cedar and the inside mask is carved from alder. Other materials include nylon netting twine, metal hinges, porcupine inner hair, red cedar bark and spruce root.
The mask was used for the first time in November, 1996 at Jimmy Dawson's potlatch in Alert Bay's big house. It was danced as a dlugwe (treasure) in the summer dances (Holikila). This mask has been used twenty-three times since and always in the same role of dlugwe.
The mask has an extensive history of use, including many appearances at institutions, conferences and exhibitions. It was danced five times by Simon Dick, Peter Smith and Simon Dick Jr. as part of the exhibition Masks: Down From the Shimmering Skies at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1998 and four times in 1998 for the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Ontario. It was used for public performances at the University of British Columbia's Museum of Anthropology three times in 1998. It was used for traditional feasts at the Capilano reserve smoke house in May, 1998; the Vancouver Indian Center in October, 1998; and the Squamish Nation Recreation Centre in March, 1999. It was used for presentations at various conferences including the Native People Conference in 1999, the Pacific Province Conference in 1999, the Vancouver Aboriginal Cultural Festival in 1997 and the Canada-Japan Business Conference in 1999. Finally, the mask was used in various gallery openings including Joe Murphy's Memorial Exhibition at the Inuit Gallery in 1997.

No comments: