Kwakiutl religious tradition is still used as a guide, which is apparent in present day life of the Kwakiutl people, still helping to make up the meaning of the Transformation mask. This tribes rich history tells of the belief that the only difference between birds, fish, animals and humans was the skin that covered the body. It was believed that they could transform at will and that animals could become humans and humans could transform into animals. The Kwakiutl masks are intricately created and well planned before the weaving and the carving begins. The masks are made from red cedar which is a soft wood and has a clear and even grain. The Kwakiutl artists used natural pigments to create the colors used on the masks and used this form of medium until the development of manufactured colored acrylic paint. Masks were used for virtually every occasion and therefore each mask was uniquely created to the theme of a specific ceremony. Ceremonies were not only a time to gather for fellowship, but also was a time...
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...e of the Kwakiutl rich culture which creates a hotbed for the talented Kwakiutl artist.
In conclusion the Kwakiutl tribe is steadfast in tradition and culture. The works of the Kwakiutl artists and the leaders of the religious ceremonies are most certainly working hand in hand carrying on traditions past on from earlier generations. The Kwakiutl artisans have mastered the art of making ceremonial masks and these masks will continue to play an intricate role in the lives and living of the villagers for years to come.
Boas, Franz. The Religion of the Kwakiutl Indians. New York: Columbia University Press. 1969.
Kleiner, Fred S. Gardner’s Art through the Ages. 13th ed. California: Wadsworth. 2006.
Rohner, Ronald P., and Evelyn C. Rohner. The Kwakiutl Indians of British Columbia. United States of America: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc. 1970.
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