Harry Williams 'Eagle' Ceremonial Mask
Beautiful, original and signed 6.5' inches long by 3' inch wide by 8.5' high red cedar wood carved mask on stand with his depiction of ''Eagle'' in the style of the Huu-Ay-Aht which is part of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth nation .
This beautiful red cedar wood carved mask is adorned with red cedar bark and is used for the purpose of ceremonial presentation, signed by Harry Williams.
Harry passed away on April 01, 2020 ( R.I.P )
The Eagle symbolizes grace, power and great intellect. It is a sacred and noble creature representing power and prestige to the First Nations people of the Northwest Coast. It symbolizes wisdom and has a special and direct connection to the creator. Eagles mate for life and are therefore also seen as a symbol of lasting love and dedication. It is told that the Eagle end their own life in despair when the mate is lost. Eagle feathers are used in the most important ceremonies, a display of respect, courage, Chieftainship and wisdom. The Eagle is the ruler of sky.
A Kwakiutl legend has it that the eagle once had very poor eyesight. Because it could fly to the highest treetops, however; a chief asked the eagle to watch for invading canoes. Anxious to assist, the eagle convinced the slug, which in those days had excellent vision, to trade eyes temporarily. The slug agreed, but when the eagle's sentinel duties were finished, the eagle refused to trade back eyes. Thus, goes the legend, not only is the eagle's sharp vision accounted for, but also the slowness of the slug.
The Eagle also serves as a messenger between humans and the Creator. In some Northwest Coast tribes, the floor used to be dusted with eagle down at potlatches and other ceremonies as a symbol of peace and hospitality. Because eagles are considered such a powerful medicine animal, the hunting or killing of eagles was restricted by many taboos. Eating eagle meat was forbidden in many tribes; in some legends, a person who eats eagle meat is transformed into a monster. In some Plains Indian tribes, feathers were required to be plucked from a live eagle so as to avoid killing them.
Harry Williams lives on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. He was a member of the Ditidaht Tribe but is now part of the Huu-ay-aht Tribe, both part of the Nuu-Chah-Nulth First Nations.
He has been carving since 2003. His carvings consist of various items such as masks, totem poles and plaques. He prefers to use paint and varnish on his pieces.
He was taught by Dave Nahant, Derald Scoular and Mark Mickey, who are all prominent carvers.