Artist Unknown

Transformation Mask
Carved Wood
15 x 24.50 x 19 in
Northwest Coast transformation masks usually manifest the transformation of an animal, in this case a wolf, changing into a mythical being, an ancestor, or another animal. Masks are worn by dancers during ceremonies who pull strings to open and move the mask—in effect, animating it. When the cords of this mask are pulled, the wolf's fur-topped, snouted head opens at the center to reveal the mesmerizing face of a mythical being or ancestor. All is skillfully carved and painted in a traditional palette or red, black, aqua, and white. The details are fabulous. The intricately carved maskettes adorning the wolf's ears as well as the mesmerizing paintings on the interior of the wolf's snout.