Kwakiutl Tribal Mask of the Pacific Northwest Essay

Kwakiutl Tribal Mask of the Pacific Northwest Essay

Length: 1100 words (3.1 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Kwakiutl Indian tribe existed before the discovery of North America by the European culture and inhabited the coast of the Pacific Northwest of the United States and British Columbia in Canada. The tribe is rich in tradition and culture and has remained steadfast in their beliefs, history, teachings and artisan skills which have been passed down generation to generation. The artisans in the Kwakiutl tribe mastered the art of creating special ceremonial masks that are not only beautiful and aesthetically interesting to the eye, but also mechanically intriguing in which the masks serve a specific purpose to a theme during different ceremonies that are conducted by tribal specialists during certain times throughout the year.
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...

... middle of paper ...

...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.

Works Cited

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.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Northwest Coast Tribal Art Essay

- Northwest Coast Tribal Masks This paper describes the Sea Bear Transformation Mask, created by Don Svanvik in 2000, and how it reflects Northwest Coast Indian art and culture, specific to the Kwakiutl tribe. A transformation mask is a large mask with hinged shutters that, when open, reveal another mask. Audrey and Alan Bleviss gave this mask to the Montclair Art Museum in 2005. The medium consists of red cedar, cedar bark, copper, pigment, and string. In the Montclair Art Museum, the mask is displayed in its open form....   [tags: Native American Indian Art]

Strong Essays
1375 words (3.9 pages)

Massive Wave Of The Pacific Northwest Essays

- Massive Mega-Quake Could Destroy Pacific Northwest Massive Mega-Quakes happen at regular intervals in the Pacific Northwest. There have been mega-quakes in the beginning of time. In Japan, a mega-quake send a 600-foot wave of water. The article I have chosen is the one on how “massive Mega-Quake Could Destroy Pacific Northwest”. The author notes that massive quakes have a magnitude of up to 9.2. It could last four minutes, according to seismologists. It occurs and then a wall of water follows....   [tags: Earthquake, Earth, Tsunami]

Strong Essays
1231 words (3.5 pages)

Essay about The United States And Pacific Northwest

- There are two specific time periods where the Mexican people were active in the regions of the Pacific Northwest and other areas of the United States. What these people did create a huge political formation and statement. They made a great name for themselves by showing that they are hard workers and strive for a better life. These things do not seem to be appreciated in todays time as much as they should, especially back in the day many people did not see Mexicans highly like they should have been seen....   [tags: United States, Mexican American, California]

Strong Essays
971 words (2.8 pages)

The Cultural Representation Of The Pacific Northwest Essays

- In the pacific northwest, approximately 120 kilometres east of Vancouver, lies Seabird Island Community: A small hamlet consisting of residences closely knit together. The island is surrounded by the British Columbian mountain range that tower above the rivers. Downstream, community buildings thrive in a horseshoe shape around a grassy square. In the centre, the buildings form a circle enclosing a large open agricultural field which is where the seabird island school is situated, its unique, noticeable form rounding off the north side of the community’s ring....   [tags: Construction, Building, The Band, School]

Strong Essays
831 words (2.4 pages)

The Diversity Of The Pacific Northwest Essay

- The Pacific Northwest is growing. Jobs, culture, and lifestyles are attracting many into the area. There is arguably no better example than Seattle. With thriving tech industries, strong medical community, and influential commercial enterprises, the appeal is obvious. But with these economic boons also come the pitfalls. And for all the access of those capable to afford the big city, come the inaccessibility of living in the outskirts. As such, a new plan is needed to address these populations and it all begins with food....   [tags: Nutrition, Health, Poverty, Junk food]

Strong Essays
1036 words (3 pages)

Essay about Kwakiutl Indian Life

- For the Kwakiutl People of the northern part of Vancouver Island, Canada, and the adjacent mainland, recorded history starts approximately in the year of 1792 when Capitan George Vancouver first made contact. As with many first encounters with Europeans, disease developed and drastically reduced the population of the Kwakiutl by an estimated 75% from the time of 1830 to 1880. In 1990, the Kwakiutl was around 1500 and pre-contact estimates are in the range of ten times that (Native Languages of the Americas website 1998)....   [tags: Kwakiutl People]

Strong Essays
2006 words (5.7 pages)

Transformation of the Pacific Northwest into an Urban Society Essay

- From the mid 1840s into the 1900s, the Pacific Northwest transformed from small towns to an urban society. In the beginning, settlers traveled by foot, water, and horse to the Pacific Northwest; then later by wagons, stagecoaches, steamboats and sailing ships to passenger trains. The Pacific Northwest experienced a rapid rate of growth from 1880s to 1890s. In between 1859 to 1890, the Pacific Northwest established its statehood between Oregon, Washington and Idaho. The growth in resources of travel and the increase of immigrants, transformed the Pacific Northwest from small towns to an urban Society....   [tags: American History]

Strong Essays
1353 words (3.9 pages)

Canadian Sovereignty over the Northwest Passage Essay

- A complex collection of more than 1800 separate islands forms the Canadian Archipelago and Canada’s Arctic territory. 1 Within recent history the arctic has gained popular attention from governments both domestically and internationally. The rise in global climate temperatures accounts for longer, ice free Arctic summers, higher levels of resource exploration and development, and less challenges to access in the Arctic. Canadian sovereignty over Arctic lands and islands is undisputed with the single exception of Hans Island, a 1.3 square kilometer island claimed by Denmark.2 Currently what is disputed is the Canadian assertion of sovereignty over the Northwest Passage waterway....   [tags: Canada, Northwest Passage]

Strong Essays
1943 words (5.6 pages)

Deforestation of The Pacific Northwest Essay

- Deforestation of the Pacific Northwest One of the most controversial areas associated with the global problem of deforestation is the Pacific Northwest of the US. The problem can be broken down into several issues that all tie in together. These include the near extinction of the Northern Spotted Owl, the "business" aspect of logging versus the environmental aspect, and the role of the government in this problem. In 1973, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was passed. This enabled the Dept....   [tags: Environmental Endangered Species Essays]

Strong Essays
1206 words (3.4 pages)

Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest in the Decade of the World’s Indigenous Populations

- Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest in the Decade of the World’s Indigenous Populations Introduction On 1 January 1994, the Mayan peoples of Chiapas, Mexico participated in an armed uprising in protest of the implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Following a strong trend of harassment, and mistreatment of Mexico’s indigenous populations, the implementation of NAFTA all but abolished the land claims of Mexico’s Indians. The Zapatista uprising, as it has been termed, brought global attention to the indigenous human rights violations in Mexico, and consequently, a strong interest in the plight of the world’s indigenous peoples resulted in the global communit...   [tags: Essays Papers]

Free Essays
3767 words (10.8 pages)