Fisherman Mask Carving
Cecil Dawson ''Portrait of a Fisherman'' Mask
NOS 1 of a kind, Beautiful, original and signed 12 inches high by 8 inch wide and 4 1/2 inch deep with his depiction of ''Fisherman'' in the style of the Kwakuitl nation .
This beautiful approx. late 80's cedar ceremonial mask 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.
Salmon is considered the staple food of many coastal communities, brought to the rivers seas by the Raven. The Haida tell of how Raven stole the salmon from the Beaver people by rolling up their stream and landscape like a carpet and flying away. It was so heavy that he could only fly a short distance at a time. He would stop wherever there was a tree to rest. The Beaver people transformed themselves back into Beavers in order to stop him. They would gnaw down the trees that Raven stopped at and each time some Salmon and stream would escape the rolled up landscape forming great streams and rivers of Salmon. Not only was the salmon a favourite food of the Raven, it also became a favourite of the Haida.
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.