( SOLD ) 'Head Winter Dancer' Mask
Cecil Dawson ''Head Winter Dancer'' Mask
NOS 1 of a kind, Beautiful, original and signed 8 inches high by 6 inch wide and 4 inch deep with his depiction of ''Winter Dancer'' in the style of the Kwakuitl nation .
This beautiful approx. late 90's red cedar ceremonial mask is adorned with cedar bark and is signed by Hereditary Chief and artist Cecil Dawson. Cecil only ever makes one of a kind pieces and never makes the same one twice.
The T’seka ceremonial sequence is celebrated in winter, a season that the Kwakiutl associated with supernatural beings and events, and usually begins in November. The winter season is also the perfect time for grand indoor ceremonies, as people try to avoid the cold rains of winter and enjoy the fruits of their summer and fall labors, such as smoked fish and fish oils, dried meats, berries, fruits, and nuts. The organization of a band during the Winter Ceremonial is based on the function of various groups according to their role as managers (shamans), performers (usually close relatives), and initiates, with the uninitiated taking no active role in the ceremonies . Managers bestow upon initiates the privilege of performing certain dances and masks, which are said to come from an ancient ancestor who bestowed these gifts as sacred privileges. The performance of these bestowals during the ceremony serves as an initiation of the novice into their numaym’s (lineage’s) dance society. During ceremonies, the rank of these dance societies outweighs normal social ranking, so much so that during these events people may only address one another by ceremonial names or risk suffering severe penalties.
Wood Carver, Painter, First Nations, Pryrographic Woodburner
Port Alberni, British Columbia, Canada • Kwakuitl Nation
Born into a family of artists, Cecil Dawson began his artistic career at a very young age. His grandfather Jimmy Dick, a totem and mask carver, taught Cecil the intricacies of carving. Cecil also spent time under the tutelage of his cousin, mask carver Simon Dick. Other masters who influenced Cecil's artistic gifts were his great uncles Willie Seaweed, Henry Speck, and Dick Hawkins.
Cecil is from the Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation. His father is head chief of the Mountain Goat Hunter clan and his mother comes from the Wolf clan. Cecil's cultural involvement is important to him; he is a historian and an initiated Hamatsa dancer.
Cecil's great labour of love is to replicate his family's masks and bring them back into ceremonial use once again. By doing so, he honours his cultural and traditional values. Cecil has a strong sense of propriety and will not copy from a book. His pieces are unique and to his own style, demonstrating a deeply rooted understanding of his culture.
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