Baleen

WHALING
Baleen art – Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803)

Baleen Arts and Crafts

Baleen: “A Whale of a Story: The Inupiaq of northern Alaska have hunted bowhead whates and collected baleen for hundrreds of years. Although called ‘whale bone’ by Westerners, baleen is a fibrous sieve-like material that grows on both sides of a plankton-eating whale’s tongue and is made of the same material as hair, horn, and figernails. Prior to contact with Westerners, baleen was used to make items such as buckets, ice scoops, sled runner, lashings, fishing line, and nets. By 1875 and until modern plastics became available, Westerners used baleen to make things such as buggy whips, umbrella ribs, and corset stays for women. Inupiaq mostly from the villages of Barrow, Point Hope, and Wainwright, began to use baleen to make items for trade and sale to non-natives. Baleen was primarily used by male artists because baleen is a hard material and historically in their culture, only men used hard materials. These artists made items such as models and baskets. The first known baleen basket was made by an artist named Kinguktuk from Barrow, Alaska between 1914 and 1918 for a local resident named Charles Brower. Brower had asked Kinguktuk to copy a willow-root basket in baleen. Hunting bowhead whales remains an important part of the lives of many Inupiaq and artists continue to use baleen in new and innovative ways.”~display at Denver Art Museum.
Displayed arts of Baleen in the Pacific Northwest Indians exhibit at the Denver Art Museum.

WHALING
Baleen: “A Whale of a Story: The Inupiaq of northern Alaska have hunted bowhead whates and collected baleen for hundrreds of years. Although called ‘whale bone’ by Westerners, baleen is a fibrous sieve-like material that grows on both sides of a plankton-eating whale’s tongue and is made of the same material as hair, horn, and figernails. Prior to contact with Westerners, baleen was used to make items such as buckets, ice scoops, sled runner, lashings, fishing line, and nets. By 1875 and until modern plastics became available, Westerners used baleen to make things such as buggy whips, umbrella ribs, and corset stays for women. Inupiaq mostly from the villages of Barrow, Point Hope, and Wainwright, began to use baleen to make items for trade and sale to non-natives. Baleen was primarily used by male artists because baleen is a hard material and historically in their culture, only men used hard materials. These artists made items such as models and baskets. The first known baleen basket was made by an artist named Kinguktuk from Barrow, Alaska between 1914 and 1918 for a local resident named Charles Brower. Brower had asked Kinguktuk to copy a willow-root basket in baleen. Hunting bowhead whales remains an important part of the lives of many Inupiaq and artists continue to use baleen in new and innovative ways.”~display at Denver Art Museum. Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803); Pacific Northwest Tribes (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3467) Exhibit – Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowa

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Seagrass Basketry and Weaving

Seagrass Baskets – Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803)

Seagrass Baskets

Seagrass Baskets: “Baskets of Sea Grass – Artists of the windswept Aleutian Islands create some of the most fragile baskets in the world. They start with carefully prepared strands of fine beach grass that they then emellish with colorful yarn or even white bird quills. Some shapes are influenced by non-native items like cigar cases and Victorian candy dishes, but all are among the most tightly woven anywhere.” ~ display at Denver Art Museum.

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Pacific Northwest Native American Art

Pacific Northwest Tribal Art

Pacific Northwest Native American Art & Culture
Article and research by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Research, August 7, 2017

Native American culture of the Pacific Northwest is amongst some of the most impressive art forms and mythology on the planet. The North American Northwest and Columbia Plateau Tribes

Material Culture:

Research is being conducted, please come back for more information and photos.

Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803); Pacific Northwest Tribes (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3467) Exhibit – Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Inupiaq Seal/Walrus Skin Armor

Inupiaq Walrus/Seal Skin Suit of Armor: dated 1945 by Jimmy Otiyohok, Inupiaq.

Inupiaq Walrus/Seal Skin Suit of Armor
Article and research by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Research, August 7, 2017

Even though many of the tribes in what is known Alaska are seen as very peaceful people, conflicts and warfare did occur, to the extent that the Inupiaq and Chukotkan men had created armor. There were two basic types (1) plate armor made of bone, ivory, antler, or iron plates lashed together and (2) band armor consisting of telescoping bands of hide. Both of these were worn over ordinary clothing and extended from head to toe. The armor was accompanied often with helmets, cuirasses, shields, shin guards, wrist guards, and neck protectors. The armor was strong enough to be invincible to arrows (except close range). Plate armor was made from dozens of ivory plates carved from walrus tusks.First evidence of this armor was found in Chukotka at various Punuk sites/excavations. Large quantities of armor plates were also discovered at western Thule at Barrow from the 15th century. The would fight with spears (defense), bows/arrows (attack), lances, knives, and slingshots. By the early 19th century after contact with Euro-Americans, they incorporated muzzle loaded guns.

The North American Northwest and Columbia Plateau Tribes as well as Pacific Coast Tribes have very intriguing “weapons and tools” in their culture and archaeological record. The Artwork of the Native American Pacific Northwest Cultures is phenomenal, embedded with myths, legends, and spirituality that empowers their people.

The armor depicted here is dated to 1945 CE (Common Era) and was made by Jimmy Otiyohok, Inupiaq. Made of Walrus skin, seal skin, wood. This ingenious type of armor was created to protect men in battle. Fashioned from the thick hide of a walrus, the armor is made in several collapsible concentric rings that girdle the soldier’s body but are flexible to allow movement. The upper section protects the head and neck region with bendable ‘elbow joints’. Arrows would bounce off the thick hide.

    Additional references:

  • Buron, Ernest S. “Alliance and Conflict: The World System of the Inupaiq Eskimo

Inupiaq Walrus/Seal Skin Suit of Armor: dated 1945 by Jimmy Otiyohok, Inupiaq. Made of Walrus skin, seal skin, wood. This ingenious type of armor was created to protect men in battle. Fashioned from the thick hide of a walrus, the armor is made in several collapisble concentric rings that girdle the soldier’s body but are flexible to allow movement. The upper section protects the head and neck region with bendable ‘elbow joints’. Arrows would bounce off the thick hide. Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803); Pacific Northwest Tribes (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3467) Exhibit – Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Inupiag & Yup’ik Hunting & Culture

Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803)

Inupiag & Yup’ik Hunting & Culture
Article and research by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Research, August 7, 2017

The indigenous First Nation’s people in the area known as Modern day Alaska are divided into eleven distinct cultures, with over 11 different language groups and 22 different dialects. The Iñupiat (or Inupiaq) is one of the larger groupings of indigenous culture in the region, with territories expanding from Norton Sound/Bering Sea to the US/Canadian border. There are seven villages in the North Slope Borough, eleven villages in the Northwest Arctic Borough, and 16 villages in the Bering Straights Regional corporation today.

They originated in the Thule Culture dating to approximately 1000 B.C.E. (Before Common Era) and believed to have migrated from the Islands to the mainland by the Bering Sea what is now called Alaska. These original peoples share common language groupings with the Inuit. It is believed after exposure to Euro-American whaling explorers the Inuiaq contracted an influenza epidemic and simultaneously went through a period of starvation forcing them to migrate to the mainland between 1890 and 1910. Some moved on to the mountains by the 1930s. Many Nunamiut such as the Killikmiut moved their peoples to Anaktuvuk Pass in north-central Alaska today. Others remained nomadic until the 1950s.

Ceremony/Ritual/Beliefs/Religion:

Animism was common as well as spirit worship based around reincarnation and recycling of spirit forms from one life to the next for all living creatures. Those who pass will have their names assigned to recent newborns. It was important to respect the kill of the hunt, releasing the animals spirit so it would return for future hunts. All life was highly respected because of this belief.

Clothing:

The Inupiaq and Yupik dress was pretty similar to neighboring peoples, consisting of large outer/inner pullover tops called parkas (kuspuks/qiipaghaq); inner and outer pants, socks and kamiks (boots). Tops and pants were commonly made from caribou skin with fur facing inward on the inner garments, outwards on the outer garments. Female pullovers often had a larger hood to help carry children (except St. Lawrence Island as they did not carry kids in the parkas). Animal skin gloves with fur turned inside with a leather strip were also common. They made waterproofed clothing out of sea-mammal intestines.

Housing Settlements:

The Native populations created a variety of housing types but most involved an underground tunnel entrance below the living level to trap cold air, consisted of a semi-subterranean structure utilizing the ground as insulation, and was heated/lit by a seal-oil lamp made from pottery or soapstone. These also were used for cooking. Most houses were made of sod blocks laid over walrus/whale bone or driftwood frames in a dome or rectangular shape. Circular shaped homes were common on St. Lawrence Island as the rectangular shape (12-15′ x 8-10′) was common everywhere else. Most of these houses were used in winter months and the families would move to nomadic camps during summer months. A community house called gargis was where the tribe gathered, did community projects or work.

Hunting and Subsistence:

The peoples depended on seasonal gatherings and hunting expeditions varying by location. Commonly hunted were whales, seals, walruses, pink / chum salmon, cod, inconnu, whitefish, herring, halibut, crab, birds, eggs, caribou and the gathering of plants.

Social Organization:

Families in the tribe would divide labor and chores by gender and conducted barter with one another in a very respectful and peaceful manner. They released their tensions in competitive games that would focus on strength and stamina of the contestants, and would also have song duels with one another exchanging stories, myths, and culture.

Tools:

The Inupiaq and Yupik had their two common tool kits consisting of various tools made of stone, wood, and bone that were used for hunting, tanning, carving, butchering, drilling, hiding, inscribing, sharpening, and flaking. They also used the bow drill for starting fires and drilling holes in wood /bone /ivory. The processing tool kit included the above while the hunting tools including lances, toggle-headed harpoons, lines, and marine mammal bladder floats (seal bladder floats for the bowhead whale hunts and seal skin floats for other whale hunts which when filled with water attract and lead the whales closer to shore). Other tools used included scratching boards to attract seals to breathing holes, bows, arrows, spears, spear throwers, bolas (hunting birds), snares, nets, wooden traps, and hooks. The tools used were varied, and consist of various items such as Harpoons and Toggles. Sometimes they made figurines of beings or creatures they wanted to successfully hunt, like Sculpin figurines or a representative Totem is involved. They were also known to create Seagrass Weaving & Basketry and Baleen Crafts.

Transportation:

The Inupiaq and Yupik often had large open skin boats called Umiaq/Angyaq for their hunts and to get around from village to village. These boats were roughly 15-25 feet long (some upwards of 50′) and are common on walrus or whale hunts, trade routes, and long distance travel holding up to 15 passengers. Single riders would use a closed skin boat kayak. Basket sleds were common for travel over the land and flat sled to haul the boats across the ice. Snowshoes were common for foot travel.

The North American Northwest and Columbia Plateau Tribes as well as Pacific Coast Tribes have very intriguing “hunting tools and weapons” in their culture and archaeological record. The Artwork of the Native American Pacific Northwest Cultures is phenomenal, embedded with myths, legends, and spirituality that empowers their people.

Ivory Tool or Weapon by an Old Bering Sea Artist, ca. 100-800 CE. Inupiag & Yup’ik Hunting Tools (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3815); Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803); Pacific Northwest Tribes (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3467) Exhibit – Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

More Information/References:

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Scraper

Scrapers
Article and research by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Research, August 7, 2017

Florida Museum of Natural History, Tallahassee, Florida

From prehistory, all over the world are found stone tools that are created in various forms and functions. The Scraper is a unifacial tool that is often most used for hide or wood working. Many stone tools fall under this unifacial flaked tool, but the authentic scrapers are based on use-wear patterns usually from the distal end of a blade. There are also side scrapers usually made off the long side of the flake as well as notched scrapers that may have had a cleft on either side attaching it to a handle.

Scrapers are made by the action of taking an end of a stone, usually a flaking material like obsidian, chert, or jasper, and is chipped forming a sharp side while retaining the raw form of the rest of the stone to use as a handle or make it easier to grasp. Scrapers once finished are often blade-like or circular in appearance with a convex working edge. If hafted, they may have dulled or trimmed lateral edges. Scrapers are commonly found in lithic sites and scatters. They are classified by their size, shape, base, edge wear, number of edges, etc. Scrapers are used to scrape wood or hide to create form or remove skin. Some are independent or mounted on wood or bone. As they are re-sharpened over time, they become smaller and smaller through use and wear.

    Types:

  • End Scraper
  • Grattoir or Side Scraper
  • Hafted or Clefted Scraper
  • Hollow Scraper
  • Nose Scraper
  • Thumbnail Scraper. (shaped in size like a thumb nail)

Scraper illustration from WIkipedia Commons. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Convex_transverse_scraper.jpg by Gayoung Park

Archaeologists often classify Scrapers as either (a) scraper, (b) End Scraper, or (c) Side Scraper. Some however also add in if it is hafted/clefted or a thumbnail scraper. End scrapers have working edges on either one or both sides of the flake, and side scraper’s working edge is along one of the long sides. Other defining factors is based on use wear or function often by use with wood or hide. Scrapers that are used to cut, skin hide or shave wood that are usually made of flint are sometimes called grattoir and possesses a working edge along the long axis of the blade (side scraper). Nose scrapers often have a small working edge either at one or both ends of the tool and is made from a convex blade utilized for finer edging. Hollow scrapers often have a notch in the side or the edge of the blade.

When recorded, the worked tool is recorded based on tool size (weight, dimensions, and whether large/small); shape (circular, rectangular, triangular, irregular, domed, keeled, or discoidal) and if diagnostic; use wear (damaged or intact, purposely shaped, and potential use purpose); base (if fashioned from a tool or flake, or core); working edges (numbers counted 1 or 2 usually); edge angle (vertical working edge vs acute); edge shape (straight, convex, or concave); functional edges (end or side).

The North American Northwest and Columbia Plateau Tribes as well as Pacific Coast Tribes have very intriguing “scrapers” in their culture and archaeological record. The Artwork of the Native American Pacific Northwest Cultures is phenomenal, embedded with myths, legends, and spirituality that empowers their people. Scrapers have evolved from stone to bone, ivory, and/or metal through time with the Pacific Coast tribes.

Scraper by a Punuk Artist, 800-1200 CE, made of slate and ivory. Inupiag & Yup’ik Hunting Tools (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3815); Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803); Pacific Northwest Tribes (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3467) Exhibit – Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Native American Ceramics

Native American Ceramics

The Native American tribes are diverse and variable. Many tribes have utilized ceramics and pottery through the ages, some of which are more popular styles than others. One region that boasts unique pottery types is the North American Northwest and Columbia Plateau Tribes

The Artwork of the Native American Pacific Northwest Cultures is phenomenal, embedded with myths, legends, and spirituality that empowers their people.

Note: Research is being conducted and this article is currently being written. Please check back soon.

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Pacific Northwest Ceremonial Masks

Pacific Northwest Ceremonial Masks

Ceremonial Masks
Article and research by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Research, August 7, 2017

Throughout history masks have been made for various reasons, and wood was a common medium for making them in. Every culture had examples of them. Masks are atypically worn on the face usually either for ritual, ceremony, magical rites, disguise, performance, theater, entertainment, or protection. They were believed to have first been used for religion and magic. The first written reference of mask comes from the Middle French “masque” meaning “covering to hide or guard the face” in the 1530s. “Masque” was derived from the Latin word “masca” meaning “mask, specter, nightmare”. It could have also originated from the Arabic maskharah مَسْخَرَۃٌ “buffoon”. Masks are also worn for protection during battle as armor, during hunting or sports for protection, and as entertainment / ornamentation during feasts/performances. Some masks are ornamental or religious and not meant to be worn, but as sacred objects or artifacts. Today they are commonly used in psychotherapy and drama therapy.

Anthropological theory suggests the first use by aborigine peoples was to represent some unimpeachable authority of being a supernatural entity like a God/dess or magical spirit / creature. This was also potentially used to promote a certain social role. Earliest found masks date over 9,000 years BP (Before present). Earliest anthropomorphic artwork dates to approximately 30,000-40,000 BP depicting face paint, war paint, leather, vegetative material or wooden masks. Even at the Neanderthal Roche-Cotard site in France there is a likeness of a face over 35,000 BP depicted in cave drawings, but unknown if it was really a mask. Anotolia around 6,000 BCE (Before Common Era) shows a young naked ithyphallic God wearing a horned mask, attributed to the cult of Shiva. The Dionysus cult of Greece also shows mask use allowing participants to participate hidden in debauchery. Iroquois tribes were known to use masks for healing. One of the magical societies were the False Face Society. The Yup’ik were known for their 3 inch finger masks as well as ten-kilo masks hung from the ceilings. Masks were used to create mediators for supernatural forces in the Himalayas. Historic masks were used for disguise, protection, as well as for plastic surgery applications for those suffering mutiliation or birth defects. Masks permitted the imagination to go beyond limitations, from the sacred to the playful, giving imaginative experiences of transformations into other identities. This comes into play with performance and entertainment as well, letting actor/resses to become and manifest into their roles.

In ceremony and ritual the mask allowed transformation, role playing, possession, sacrifice, and presentation of supernatural entities. They also represented a protective role with the mediation of spirits. They can also represent a specific culture’s idea of feminine beauty such as with the Punu of Gabon.

Pacific Coastal original inhabitants were known for their wood craft – many of their masks were prizes of art with moveable jaws, masks within masks, and other moving parts. Some of them were combined with totems, poles, houses, canoes, and shields.

The North American Northwest and Columbia Plateau Tribes have a distinct form of ceremonial and utilitarian masks within their culture and archaeological record. The Artwork of the Native American Pacific Northwest Cultures is phenomenal, embedded with myths, legends, and spirituality that empowers their people. Masks are also utilized as representative totems. Inuit peoples have varying languages and mythology, with masks varying just as much. Many of their masks are made either of driftwood, bones, skins, and feathers. Inuit women use finger masks to tell stories and conduct dances in storytelling.

Transformation is a common purpose for Northwestern use of masks, especially those on the Northwest Coast and area known as Alaska within ritual dances. Many times these are depicted with an outer animal visage hosting moveable parts revealing the inner human face carved in wood. The Northwestern tribes held ceremonies known as potlaches which illustrated the myths in shamanic rituals depicted by the masks. These peoples involved the tribes of Tlingit, Haida, Heiltsuk, Nuxalk, Tsimshian, Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth and other First Nations. Common depictions such as the Ancestral Sky Spirit of the Thunderbird that when it ruffles its feathers causes thunder, and blinks its eyes for lightning.

Northwestern coast mask art is well known for its use of formlines, ovoids, U and S forms. Pre-European contact, these masks were made out of wood (particularly Western Red Cedar), stone, and copper. After European contact, most of the masks were made with canvas, glass, paper, and precious metals. Most of the masks and art were done with red, white, black, and sometimes yellow. Patterns are notoriously that of ravens, bears, thunderbirds, sisiutls, eagles, orcas, and humans. Many were implemented in totem poles. After European contact and their attack on the cultural ways of the peoples, much of the art and style was lost. Recent years (decades) a revival has been born bringing back these art styles, masks, and the formerly banned potlach ceremony. Masks were known to be passed on from father to son to grandson.

Wooden Masks

Pacific Northwest Ceremonial Masks (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3807): Wooden Masks: (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=13678); Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803); Pacific Northwest Tribes (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3467) Exhibit – Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Wooden Masks

Pacific Northwest Ceremonial Masks (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3807): Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803)

Wooden Masks
Article and research by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Research, August 7, 2017

Throughout history masks have been made for various reasons, and wood was a common medium for making them in. Every culture had examples of them. Masks are atypically worn on the face usually either for ritual, ceremony, magical rites, disguise, performance, theater, entertainment, or protection. They were believed to have first been used for religion and magic. The first written reference of mask comes from the Middle French “masque” meaning “covering to hide or guard the face” in the 1530s. “Masque” was derived from the Latin word “masca” meaning “mask, specter, nightmare”. It could have also originated from the Arabic maskharah مَسْخَرَۃٌ “buffoon”. Masks are also worn for protection during battle as armor, during hunting or sports for protection, and as entertainment / ornamentation during feasts/performances. Some masks are ornamental or religious and not meant to be worn, but as sacred objects or artifacts. Today they are commonly used in psychotherapy and drama therapy.

Anthropological theory suggests the first use by aborigine peoples was to represent some unimpeachable authority of being a supernatural entity like a God/dess or magical spirit / creature. This was also potentially used to promote a certain social role. Earliest found masks date over 9,000 years BP (Before present). Earliest anthropomorphic artwork dates to approximately 30,000-40,000 BP depicting face paint, war paint, leather, vegetative material or wooden masks. Even at the Neanderthal Roche-Cotard site in France there is a likeness of a face over 35,000 BP depicted in cave drawings, but unknown if it was really a mask. Anotolia around 6,000 BCE (Before Common Era) shows a young naked ithyphallic God wearing a horned mask, attributed to the cult of Shiva. The Dionysus cult of Greece also shows mask use allowing participants to participate hidden in debauchery. Iroquois tribes were known to use masks for healing. One of the magical societies were the False Face Society. The Yup’ik were known for their 3 inch finger masks as well as ten-kilo masks hung from the ceilings. Masks were used to create mediators for supernatural forces in the Himalayas. Historic masks were used for disguise, protection, as well as for plastic surgery applications for those suffering mutiliation or birth defects. Masks permitted the imagination to go beyond limitations, from the sacred to the playful, giving imaginative experiences of transformations into other identities. This comes into play with performance and entertainment as well, letting actor/resses to become and manifest into their roles.

In ceremony and ritual the mask allowed transformation, role playing, possession, sacrifice, and presentation of supernatural entities. They also represented a protective role with the mediation of spirits. They can also represent a specific culture’s idea of feminine beauty such as with the Punu of Gabon. (Pacific Northwest Ceremonial Masks)

Africa

Most, if not all, of the original peopling of Africa involved Masks. In the West, they were utilized in ceremonies set up to communicate with the ancestors and spirits. These wooden masks are carved by special mask makers who were known as “master carvers”, often passed on through heritage and family lineage. There were fang masks used by the ngil to hunt out sorcerers. Most of the African masks involve animals or the representation of them – believing that the tribe can communicate with the animals spirits by wearing them. Today most African masks are made for the tourism industry.

Australia

Fascinating masks come out of Australia, including full body covering masks that envelope the body.

North America:

Northeastern:
Northeastern tribes like the Iroquis had special wooden “false face” masked used in ceremonies of healing. They were made from living trees, carved in ritual, with a variety of shapes based on function.

Pacific Northwest:

Pacific Coastal original inhabitants were known for their wood craft – many of their masks were prizes of art with moveable jaws, masks within masks, and other moving parts. Some of them were combined with totems, poles, houses, canoes, and shields.

The North American Northwest and Columbia Plateau Tribes have a distinct form of ceremonial and utilitarian masks within their culture and archaeological record. The Artwork of the Native American Pacific Northwest Cultures is phenomenal, embedded with myths, legends, and spirituality that empowers their people. Masks are also utilized as representative totems. Inuit peoples have varying languages and mythology, with masks varying just as much. Many of their masks are made either of driftwood, bones, skins, and feathers. Inuit women use finger masks to tell stories and conduct dances in storytelling.

Transformation is a common purpose for Northwestern use of masks, especially those on the Northwest Coast and area known as Alaska within ritual dances. Many times these are depicted with an outer animal visage hosting moveable parts revealing the inner human face carved in wood. The Northwestern tribes held ceremonies known as potlaches which illustrated the myths in shamanic rituals depicted by the masks. These peoples involved the tribes of Tlingit, Haida, Heiltsuk, Nuxalk, Tsimshian, Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth and other First Nations. Common depictions such as the Ancestral Sky Spirit of the Thunderbird that when it ruffles its feathers causes thunder, and blinks its eyes for lightning.

Northwestern coast mask art is well known for its use of formlines, ovoids, U and S forms. Pre-European contact, these masks were made out of wood (particularly Western Red Cedar), stone, and copper. After European contact, most of the masks were made with canvas, glass, paper, and precious metals. Most of the masks and art were done with red, white, black, and sometimes yellow. Patterns are notoriously that of ravens, bears, thunderbirds, sisiutls, eagles, orcas, and humans. Many were implemented in totem poles. After European contact and their attack on the cultural ways of the peoples, much of the art and style was lost. Recent years (decades) a revival has been born bringing back these art styles, masks, and the formerly banned potlach ceremony. Masks were known to be passed on from father to son to grandson. (Pacific Northwest Ceremonial Masks)

Southeastern United States:

    ” Wooden Masks: The carved and painted masks probably represents animals. The animals represented here includes a wildcat, pelican, and cormorant, which is a type of bird. The masks likely were worn during religious ceremonies. ” ~ Diorama/display in the Florida Museum of Natural History, Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo 091712-037.jpg) Wooden Masks: http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=1367 (Expected publication January 2013).

” Wooden Masks: The carved and painted masks probably represents animals. The animals represented here includes a wildcat, pelican, and cormorant, which is a type of bird. The masks likely were worn during religious ceremonies. ” ~ Diorama/display in the Florida Museum of Natural History, Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo 091712-037.jpg) Wooden Masks: http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=1367 (Expected publication January 2013). Division of Historical Resources – Florida Museum of History – Where I used to work – September 17, 2012: A Walk Down Memory Lane – revisiting College Town – Tallahassee, Florida. (c) 2012 – photography by Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley, Eadaoin Bineid – technogypsie.com. To purchase this photo or to obtain permission to use, go to http://www.technogypsie.com/photography/?tcp_product_category=photo
For more information visit:
Tallahassee: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=5093 (Expected publication November 2012)
Florida: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=5079 (Expected Publication December 2012)
http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/
For travel tales, visit:
http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/

Southwestern United States:
Southwestern tribes like the Pueblo, Navajo, Hopi, and Zuni took on the forms of supernatural spirits in very distinctive and elaborate masks utilized in religious ritual as kachina’s or Gods/spirits forms. These were made of wood, decorated with fur, feathers, leather, and/or leaves.

Research is being conducted, please come back for more information and photos.

Pacific Northwest Ceremonial Masks (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3807): Wooden Masks: (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=13678); Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803); Pacific Northwest Tribes (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3467) Exhibit – Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsi

e.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Totems: Pacific Northwest Aboriginal Culture

Totems (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3801)

Totems
Article and research by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Research, August 7, 2017

One of the phenomenal ominous presences in the Pacific Northwest, as well as superNATURAL British Columbia, is the plethera of artistic totems created by the past and present Pacific Northwest tribes. It is truly a part of my heart’s connection with Cascadia.

Totems, in the Pacific Northwest, are usually depicted by the stacking of tribal masks or heads carved into a tall towering pole. “Totems” are spirit beings, symbols, or sacred objects that represent families, clans, lineages, or tribes. Totem as a definition was first classified from the art forms and beliefs made by the Ojibwe tribe in the Pacific Northwest. They see the concept as believing in tutelary Deities or spirits. This concept however is worldwide, and defining term “totem” is utilized by Anthropologists to explain this concept as it is used in other cultures such as Australia, Europe, Asia, Africa, the Arctic, and Middle East. Most cultures outside of the Americas call their guardian spirits and symbols by other words rather than “totems”. Neo-Paganism and the New Age have adopted the term “totem” to identify a particular personal or tutelary spirit guide.

Pacific Northwest – North America

The Pacific Northwest, nicknamed “Cascadia” is home to most of the “Totem culture” found in North America. Many of these are represented in Totem Poles. The belief in totems follows alongside “animism”, the belief that everything has a spirit or soul. Many totems are animals or creatures that represent a tribe, family, or clan.

Totem Poles
Totem poles feature tribal masks, heads, animals (especially bears, frogs, birds), and supernatural creatures or beings from myths. These often function as representatives, chiefs, or crests of a family or royal lineage. Each is embedded with its own stories, myths, tales, and traditions. On a totem pole, they are read from the bottom to top.

The North American Northwest and Columbia Plateau Tribes have a distinct style, culture, and belief system. The Artwork of the Native American Pacific Northwest Cultures is phenomenal, embedded with myths, legends, and spirituality that empowers their people.

Totems (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3801); Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803); Pacific Northwest Tribes (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3467) Exhibit – Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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