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         Indian Woodcarving: Masks
                 A Pathfinder


               Robyn Rosenberg
               October 17, 2001

                  LIS 382L.2
    Information Resources in the Humanities
               Dr. Loriene Roy
                              Indian Woodcarving: Masks

                                       Introduction



       Masks can be works of art, historical artifacts, bearers of religious significance,

and ceremonial instruments in native dance. The use of masks can be found in dance

performances at feasts, potlatches and secret society ceremonies. Many native cultures

employ masks for a variety of purposes in their religious ceremonies, as a demonstration

of an individual tribe’s history or mythology or as a depiction of religious or personal

experience.

       This pathfinder is part of the Oksale Virtual Library at Northwest Indian College

(NWIC) in Lummi, Washington. The purpose of my pathfinder is to provide students

with information concerning Northwest Indian masks. I tried to emphasize the artistic

and cultural nature of the masks by answering the following questions: Where can I get

general information concerning masks from a variety of cultures? Where can I read about

Northwest Coast Indian masks and how they relate to Native American culture, art and

mythology? Where can I learn about Northwest Coast Indian art design elements such as

color and form? Where can I see examples of contemporary Northwest Indian masks?

Where can I locate information about local Lummi woodcarvers and masks? Where can I

learn about a museum exhibition on Northwest Coast Indian masks?

       I began my research with the search engine google.com and used

<northwest indian masks> and <pacific northwest Indian woodcarving masks> as my

search terms. Many of the sites were links to art museums and galleries, which allowed

me to view hundreds of beautiful masks. While spending much time going through these
galleries’ websites, I discovered many that provided additional information concerning a

variety of topics, such as background information on the various native cultures of the

Pacific Northwest Coast, essays by authors on design themes found in northwest art, and

a extraordinary museum exhibition, Down from the Shimmering Sky: Masks of the

Northwest Coast. During another search in google.com I used <lummi wood carving

masks> as my search terms and located an article about a local Lummi woodcarver.

       Except for one source, masks.org, I selected web sites that dealt specifically with

the Northwest Coast Indian cultures in relation to masks, art design, artist information,

and museum/gallery links. All sources listed in the bibliography and the pathfinder can

be accessed freely on the World Wide Web. This pathfinder can be found online at

http://www.gslis.utexas.edu/~vlibrary/edres/pathfinders/rosenberg.pdf.
                              Indian Woodcarving: Masks
                                Annotated Bibliography


Style Manual Cited:
MLA on the Web. 1997. Modern Language Association. 20 September 2001.
       <http://www.mla.org >.


1. Masks.org. 2001. masks.org. 20 September 2001. < http://www.masks.org/ >.
“Masks.org is a single-subject research library serving the global community. We are
dedicated to preserving our cultural heritages through archiving images of masks and
masquerade.” (This quote was found online at http://www.masks.org/about/mission/).
The following link provides access to the mask.org’s Northwest Coast Directory,
http://www.masks.org/library/mask_links_directory/north_america/northwest_coast.html
where you can see archived images of masks from a variety of university and museum
holdings.


2. The Tribes, Customs and Ceremonial Masks. Serial-Design.com. 20 September
       2001. < http://www.serial-design.com/artists/primitiveart2.htm >.
Serial-Desgin.com is an online art design magazine. It’s full text article, “The Tribes,
Customs and Ceremonial Masks,” begins by discussing some general art design elements
in Northwest Indian mask making. The article goes on to give detailed information on
how the design of masks is tied to the specific tribe in which they were created.


3. Native Culture and Mythology. 2000. Coastal Arts Ltd. 20 September 2001.
       < http://www.coastalarts.com/site/culture/>.
Coastal Arts gallery provides brief background information on the major nations of the
Northwest Coast. In addition, there is link, “Key Symbols of Northwest Coast Native
Art” which discusses specific mythological themes related to various mask designs. By
clicking on “A Brief Background on the Masks of Northwest Coast Native Art” you can
read a little about the carving, painting, and use of color in mask making. By sods
By
4. Northwest Connection –About the Nation. 2000. Northwest Connection Gallery
       of Native Art. 20 September 2001.
       <http://www.northwestconnection.com/nations.htm>.
This site gives a brief overview of the history, geography, and social and religious life of
the native cultures making up the northwest coast. Also included on this site is a
description of the many types of materials (i.e. wood, whale bone, metals) used by the
various cultures in the production of their art (drums, charms, bracelets). Masks are
discussed as well as a definition of some of the general characteristics of the art style of
the region.


5. Elements of Northwest Coast Art. Seattle Art Museum. 20 September 2001.
       < www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/NativeJourneys/visions/holm.htm>.
The Seattle Art Museum provides a very basic overview of such Native art concepts as
formline, ovoid, U-form, and hatching and dashing. These design elements can be
applied to a variety of art forms including wood carved masks. This essay was based on
the work of Bill Holm, an expert in the field.


6. Pacific Northwest Native American Art. Raptor: Sarah Lawrence College’s
       Student Server. 20 September 2001.
       <http://raptor.slc.edu/~polaris/nart/index.html>.
“This site is a basic introduction to the art of the Native Americans of the Pacific
Northwest. It is not meant to be definitive, just an explanation of some basics of shape,
color and form.” (Pacific Northwest Native American Art, 20 September 2001). On the
left side of the web page you can view information about the use of colors and their
application by clicking on the “Colors” link. To learn about the common shapes of
Native art; ovoid, U-form, S-form, and formline, click on the “Shapes” link.


7. Ceremonial Masks. 1999. Gifts of the Raven. 20 September 2001.
       < http://www.yvr.ca:80/raven/dept.asp?dept%5Fid=26 >.
Gifts of the Raven is a Northwest Coast Native Art gallery located at Vancouver
International Airport. This site provides many examples of different types of masks by
various artists. To find out information about the artist, their tribal affiliation and the
material used in the production of their masks, click on the picture of the mask you are
interested in.


8. Mask Gallery 1. 1998. The Legacy Ltd. 20 September 2001.
        < http://www.thelegacyltd.com/Mask%20Gallery%20I.htm>.
The Legacy Ltd. Gallery specializes in contemporary and historic Northwest Coast Indian
Art and is located in Seattle, Washington. This site has beautiful examples of wood
carved masks. At the bottom of this page is a link to Mask Gallery II, which contains
additional examples of the gallery’s mask collection.


9. Coghlan Art Gallery of wood carvings. Coghlan Studio and Gallery. 20 September
        2001. <http://www.coghlanart.com/wood.htm >.
Click on a mask to see not only a larger image of the mask, but also to view the image
from several angles by rotating it with the use of the mouse. At the bottom of this page
you find additional links pertaining to artists’ biographies, historical information on
Northwest carvings, essays on Northwest Coast art, and stories about some of the themes
represented by the masks.


10. Northwest Coast Masks by Joe Bolton. Sa-Cinn Native Enterprises Ltd. 20
        September 2001. < http://www.sa-cinn.com/joebolton.htm >.
This site provides a brief description of some of the folktales interpreted by the artist, Joe
Bolton, in creating his masks. For example, the Bigfoot-like creature known as Bookwus
found in various stories in many native villages was the inspiration for several of Mr.
Bolton’s masks.


11. Coastal Arts: Mask Gallery. Coastal Arts Ltd. 20 September 2001.
        < http://www.coastalarts.com/site/mask/index.html >.
“Our online gallery features today’s foremost First Nations artists. We undertake
expeditions to remote regions of the islands of the Pacific Northwest Coast to bring you
authentic Native Art. In some instances, these works have been actual participants in the
sacred Potlatch ceremonies.” (Coastal Arts Online Gallery, 17 October 2001). By
clicking on an image of a mask you will find a larger image along with the artist’s name,
tribal affiliation, and the types of materials used.


12. Arctic Raven Art Gallery: Northwest Coast. Arctic Raven Art Gallery: 20
        September 2001. < http://www.arcticravengallery.com/nw-coast.html >.
Arctic Raven Art Gallery is on the San Juan Island off the coast of Washington. This site
includes artwork from the Kwakiutl, Coast Salish, Nu Chah Nulth, Tsimshian and Haida
people. While most of the work consists of wood carved masks, there are examples of
bronze, glass and print art.


13. Odekirk, Jenni. Sacred Roots. 1999. Klipsun Online. 20 September 2001.
        < http://klipsun.wwu.edu/1998/December/stor2.html >.
Klipsun is a student magazine published by Western Washington University. This article
interviews Jewell James head carver of the House of Tears carving guild. Mr. James
discusses his art as well as his plans and ideas for the future. For example, Mr. James
would like to see the creation of a Northwest Indian Art Institute at NWIC.


14. Gallery 1: Northwest Ceremonial Masks and Carvings. Yosemite Native American
        Art Gallery. 20 September 2001.
        < http://www.yosemitegold.com/nativeamerican/yng1.html >.
Yosemite Native Art Gallery is the online representative of Yosemite’s Sisochi Gallery.
While the gallery does not specializing in Northwest coast native art per say this web
page provides six examples of northwest ceremonial masks and carvings, two of which
are Lummi.


15. Down From the Shimmering Sky: Masks of the Northwest Coast. Portland Art
        Museum. 20 September 2001. < http://www.tfaoi.com/newsm1/n1m204.htm >.
Down From the Shimmering Sky: Masks of the Northwest Coast is “the largest and most
complete exhibition ever mounted of ceremonial masks produced by Native Americans
of the Pacific Northwest.” (Portland Art Museum, 17 October 2001).
                             Indian Woodcarving: Masks

                                      A Pathfinder

                                 By Robyn Rosenberg


The purpose of this pathfinder is to aid students at Northwest Indian College with
locating free Internet resources on Pacific Northwest Indian woodcarvings with an
emphasis on traditional Indian mask design. This pathfinder can be found online at
http://www.gslis.utexas.edu/~vlibrary/edres/pathfinders/rosenberg2.

Where can I get general information concerning masks from a variety of cultures?

   •   Masks.org. 2001. masks.org. 20 September 2001. < http://www.masks.org/>.


Where can I read about Northwest Coast Indian masks and how they relate to
Native American culture, art and mythology?

   •   The Tribes, Customs and Ceremonial Masks. Serial-Design.com. 20 September
              2001. < http://www.serial-design.com/artists/primitiveart2.htm >.

   •   Native Culture and Mythology. 2000. Coastal Arts Ltd. 20 September 2001.
              < http://www.coastalarts.com/site/culture/>. Northwest Coast Native

   •   Northwest Connection Gallery of Native Art. 2000. Northwest Connection
             Gallery of Native Art. 20 September 2001.
             < http://www.northwest-connection.com/nations.htm>.

Where can I learn about Northwest Coast Indian art design elements such as color
and form?

   •   Elements of Northwest Coast Art. Seattle Art Museum. 20 September 2001.
       < www.seattleartmuseum.org/Exhibitions/NativeJourneys/visions/holm.htm>.

   •   Pacific Northwest Native American Art. Raptor: Sarah Lawrence College’s
               Student Server. 20 September 2001.
               < http://raptor.slc.edu/~polaris/nart/index.html >.
Where can I see examples of contemporary Northwest Indian masks?

   •   Ceremonial Masks. 1999. Gifts of the Raven. 20 September 2001.
             < http://www.yvr.ca:80/raven/dept.asp?dept%5Fid=26 >.

   •   Mask Gallery 1. 1998. The Legacy Ltd. 20 September 2001.
             < http://www.thelegacyltd.com/Mask%20Gallery%20I.htm >.

   •   Coghlan Art Gallery of wood carvings. Coghlan Studio and Gallery. 20
             September 2001. <http://www.coghlanart.com/wood.htm >.

   •   Northwest Coast Masks by Joe Bolton. Sa-Cinn Native Enterprises Ltd. 20
             September 2001. < http://www.sa-cinn.com/joebolton.htm >.

   •   Coastal Arts: Mask Gallery. Coastal Arts Ltd. 20 September 2001.
              < http://www.coastalarts.com/site/mask/index.html >.

   •   Arctic Raven Art Gallery: Northwest Coast. Arctic Raven Art Gallery: 20
              September 2001. < http://www.arcticravengallery.com/nw-coast.html >.

Where can I locate information about local Lummi woodcarvers and masks?

   •   Odekirk, Jenni. Sacred Roots. 1999. Klipsun Online. 20 September 2001.
             < http://klipsun.wwu.edu/1998/December/stor2.html >.

   •   Gallery 1: Northwest Ceremonial Masks and Carvings. Yosemite Native
              American Art Gallery. 20 September 2001.
              < http://www.yosemitegold.com/nativeamerican/yng1.html >.

Where can I learn about a museum exhibition on Northwest Coast Indian masks?

   •   Down From the Shimmering Sky: Masks of the Northwest coast. Portland Art
             Museum. 20 September 2001.
             <http://www.tfaoi.com/newsm1/n1m204.htm >.



I hope this pathfinder was helpful in locating information on Indian Woodcarving:
Masks. If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me at
Robyn_Rosenberg@hotmail.com


         For further assistance, please don’t hesitate to consult a librarian.

								
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