Bookwus Mask, Beau Dick (Kwakwaka'wakw), Red cedar, acrylic paint, leather and horsehair, 25" x 26.5" x 16", SOLD

Original size is 466 × 650 pixels

Known from the stories of the Kwakwaka’wakw people, Bookwus (Wild Man of the Woods) is a supernatural being who lurks on the edges of forests and near streams trying to lure living people into his invisible abode. Bookwus entices those in his path to eat his ghost food, which causes them to come into his world. When danced, Bookwus emits a low wheezing sound which is made by the use of a double reeded whistle. The dancer will sometimes carry a carved wooden clam shell or cockleshell, which represents his food. Because he lives in the woods on the edge of the spirit world, Bookwus is often depicted in a disheveled and dirty state. His face is characteristically skeletal, his eye sockets deep and round, his brow furrowed, his nose beaked, and his mouth grimacing.