Monday, April 17, 2006

Wild Man and Wild Woman of Canadian First Nations Art

Two of the more interesting characters from the Northwest coast Canadian First Nations art world include the Wild Man and the Wild Woman of the woods. These two are often portrayed in very dramatic looking masks carved by Northwest coast Canadian First Nations artists.

The Wild Man of the woods from Canadian First Nations art is called Bak’was and is a small human-like creature who lives in the forest. He has deep round eyes that are sunken into his sockets and brows that jut out forward. His cheeks are hollow, his mouth is often grimacing and his nose appears like a hooked beak. It is said that the Wild Man can sometimes be seen early in the morning on the beach collecting cockles which are a type of mollusk as his food. The Wild Man is also considered the chief of ghosts and spirits of people who drowned are often hovering near him. Humans must beware of the Wild Man tempting others to join him for a meal. If one eats some of the Wild Man’s food, one will turn into a being just like him.

[to see the rest of this article including background on the Wild Woman of the woods, see The Wild Man and Wild Woman of Canadian First Nations Art]

2 comments:

Hoka-shay-honaqut said...

When I lived in St. Paul MN, I worked for Ed Archie Noisecat (Salish), woodcarver and sculptor. The first mask that I saw him work on was a 'Bok Wass' mask.

Clint said...

Yes, he is a well known carver.