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Owl Mask Masks

Owl Mask

By Don Svanvik

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Carved by Donald Svanvik

13"h. x 9"w. x 8.5"d.

The Owl in the Kwakwa̱ka̱'wakw Mythology

"In the Northwest Coast cosmos, there are four realms, identified arbitrarily as the Sky World, the Undersea world, the Mortal world and the Spirit world. While all four domains in the Northwest Coast are significant, in many ways the Sky World dominates legend and life. Ancestral heroes descended from the heavens, landing with a blinding aura when they transformed into humans."

 Various birds were represented as part of the family myth character of the Sky world. Because of his nocturnal habits, the Owl is associated with night, darkness, and the soul of the dead. The Owl takes the dead away. He gives them an owl mask, which transforms them into owls. If they cannot fly, they return to the grave. And Owl is sent by Woodpecker to borrow gum for caulking the artificial whale.

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