Loon Headdress/Mask


(by Kathryn Holt)

The research on this subject is from pictures taken by Edward Curtis in the 1800s from a Tluwulahu Mask. In several Coastal cultures the loon was considered sacred and was thought to embody the spirit of old allies, signified by the haunting wailing sound of its cries. The mask was worn on the head to imitate the loon changing into the form of a man.

Native American legendary stories about loons can be found at:
Sylvan Dell Publishing and Indigenous Peoples.

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Gabriel Celibataire - July 16, 2009 4:00 AM

I like pretty much the Pugwis Mask with Loon - wood carving by Troy Roberts Yagis is one of many Kwakwaka'wakw Sea Monsters capable of arouing storms, waves, and dangerous whirlpools and danced as part of the Winter Ceremony. His dance is characterized by movements, which initiate a Sea Mammal sounding, then surfacing and breathing. The copper teeth, eyes and eyebrows on this mask, are indications of great wealth.

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