From the Publisher
This coloring book, in bringing awareness of these ancient traditions to children, is a celebration of masks of both past and present, and honors the lives and dances of the indigenous people of the Northwest Coast
From the Author
This project was very delightful to bring together, I was able to put in my Great-Grandfather Eddie Cogo's famous picture of Chilkat Dancers, on page 13. the original photo had most of the totem pole blocked from view, upon descovering a photo with only the house and totem, it was exciting to be able to finally have this represented in the illustration!
From the beginning only ancient masks and settings were reprented, but it somehow made the impression that masks are only in museums and not a part of the Northwest Native Culture; to which the next action was to start calling first the carvers I know, then reaching out to those that might want to have their artwork represented as well. The Modern Traditionalist Carvers represented are:
pg. 6 - Haida Carver: Josh Yates
pg. 7 - Carver: Aaron Elmore
pg. 9 - Cowichan Carver: Ronald Alphonse & Thlingit Carver: Fred Fulmer
pg. 12 - Haida Carver: Saaduuts Peele
pg. 16-17 - Carver: Tsungani
pg. 18 - Thlingit Carver: James Rowan
pg. 19 - Haida Carver: Robert Davidson
pg. 22 - Tsimshian Carver: Ken Decker
pg. 23 - Thlingit Carver: Odin Lonning
pg. 26 - Tsimshian Carver: Heber Reece
pg. 28 - Haida Carver: Fred Lauth
pg. 31 - Tsimshian Carver: David Boxely
pg. 32 - Salish Carver: Andrea Wilber-Sigo
I do hope that you enjoy Transformation Masks, I have tried to bring out masks and totems (and other ancient scenes) from old photos, and those in museums, as well as to have modern masks and scenes; in fact one of the illustrations takes place in the gymnasium of Chief Leschi School at a Potlatch that was given there by the Tsimshians.
Pamela Rae Huteson
From the Inside Flap
From the Back Cover
Pamela Rae Huteson grew up surrounded by totem poles and longhouses, and listening to her elders recount Tlingit and Haida legends. Her fascination with Native history and traditions of Northwest Coast tribes led to her development as a writer of both poetry and prose, and participation in three Native dance groups: the Klawock Heenya Dancers, the Shinna-ku Dancers, and guest appearances with the Gaanax.adi clan during celebrations in Klawock, Alaska. Pamela is the author of "Legends in Wood; Stories of the Totems (2002), and 8 entries in the "Encyclopdeia of Anthropology.
About the Author
In the European culture you take your father's name, in the Thlingit and Haida you are who your mother is and so take your mother's clan. With this in mind Pamela's studies focused on the Thlingit culture, only to be reminded by her Haida Grandmother that she is also Haida and not to forget her Haida heritage. Pamela's studies expanded to include the Haidas as well. It became apparent that all of the NW tribes from SE Alaska to Washington were interconnected. While doing research for the Encyclopedia entries an intereste developed in the clashing of European and Native cultures. Since the family of Pamela's Grandfather, the Huteson's, came from England this generated the interest to research that period of England as well. Currently, Jane Austen is on the research list.
* Legends in Wood, Stories of the Totems (Tigard,Or: Greatland Classic Sales, 2002 ISBN 1-886462-51-8 )
* Coloring Alaska, the Greatland on a Summers Day (Tigard,Or: Greatland Classic Sales, 2004)
* Transformation Masks (Hancock House Publications, 2007 ISBN: 088839635X )
Other publications containing her entries:
*Encyclopedia of Anthropology. 2006. Entries: Aleut, Athabascan, Kwakiutl, Tlingit, Haida, Eskimo Acculturation, Potlatch, Feasts and Festivals. SAGE Pub.
* Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity & Society. 2008. Entries: Aleut, Tlingit, Indigenous Canada, Alaska Native Legistlations. SAGE Pub.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
The Native peoples' connection with the drum, and dance and masks is deeply rooted. From time immemorial to the present day, inside their Big Houses (longhouses)Northwest Coast Native cultures have conducted ceremonies that included masks. During potlatches, the display of tribal crests demonstrates reverence for ancestors and reinforces knowledge of the legends and who owns them. Used for initiation into secret societies, or in shamanistic rituals to contact a spirit guide, masks are channels of transformation for shamans and dancers. Whether created from animal remains or carved from wood or stone, the mask is the vehicle that allows the dancer to shut out the world, and to connect with the essence of the spirit that the mask represents.
With the arrival of Europeans to the Northwest Coast there began an unprecedented exodus of totem poles, masks, woven baskets and blankets, and other "Native artifact." It appeared that the Northwest Native cultures would vanish. In 1919 in British Columbia, in fact, the potlatch itself was outlawed by government decree. Still, the Native cultures, although decimated, remained alive, and in time eventually re-emerged.
In 1938 a totem restoration project began in southeastern villages in Alaska, funded by the Civilian Conservation Corps. In 1951 the potlatch ban in Canada was removed. In 1965 the book, "Northwest Coast Indian Art, an Analysis of Form" by Bill Holm was published, and quickly became a bible to Native carvers and artists throughout the Northwest Coast. Contemporary artistic leaders, such as Robert Davidson, Bill Reid, and Nathan Jackson, spearheaded a "Native Renaissance," becoming exemplars for subsequent generations to follow in their footsteps.
This compilation celebrates masks of both past and present, and honors the lives and dances of the indigenous people of the Northwest Coast. Today, masks are not just found in museums and art galleries, but are worn in dances from Southeast Alaska, throughout the coastal regions of British Columbia and Washington State. Some of the illustrations in this book have been inspired by museum artifacts, historical photos and data, and portray historical Native settings on the Northwest Coast. Others are representations of contemporary masks, longhouses, and totems from present-day carvers.
Today, carvers are once again swinging their adzes, and curling wood shavings with hooked knives on cedar, dancers are holding practice meetings, with invitations for the world to share their culture. And masks of the ancient of days are making resurgence.
So, why are more dancers donning masks today? Because, while the dancer is cloaked in the ancient regalia, he or she captivates and transports the audience to a time of potlatch dances, when Raven came "alive" in the flickering firelight within the longhouse walls.