Surrounded by Beauty

Navigation Map

Northwest Coast Southwest Mississippi Valley Northeast Woodlands Plains

Introduction --

Another view of the Transformation Mask The bird on the outside of this mask is a Raven. Raven is a central character in Northwest Coast Indian traditions. In many stories he is a creator of the world, but he can also be a "trickster" who plays mischievous tricks on others. Inside the mask is a two-headed serpent called Sisuitl (SEE-shoe), a powerful character who occasionally eats those who see him. That may explain why Sisuitl is shown in profile on the inside of the mask, looking away from the human head between his two heads. There is a human hand, palm up, on each side of the human face at the center of the mask. Together the images of human, raven and serpent on the mask refer to transs taking place between these characters.

Rattle Makah Basket Transformation Mask Native American History and Culture


MIA Home Page ArtsConnectEd Printable Curriculum