Northwest Coast Woodcarving 2: The Final Stages
Northwest Coast Woodcarving is one way in which a noble family shares their rights, crests and privileges that have been handed down through t heir family since the beginning of time. These crests which manifest themselves as animals, supernatural beings and ancestors are most commonly shared through their story, song, mask and dance during a potlatch.
In this class, Chief Tsungani shares the final stages of creating a mask, transforming rough wooden carvings into the vibrant, colorful, complex crests of the ceremonial houses. Tsungani will demonstrate detail carving, sanding techniques, painting and assembly of articulated or transformation masks. You will see firsthand the finishing touches that bring these pieces to life, including setting hair, abalone inlays, and more. This class utilizes masterful demonstrations, and is suitable for all skill levels and builds on the information shared in NW Coast Woodcarving 1: Exploring traditions.
Tsungani, meaning “he who excels” also holds the Kwakwaka’wakw name, Qa7axtal’es, which translates to “He who arises early and invites the people into the house to eat”. Tsungani as the main dancer in the Living History Programs, was an expert at handling the large, articulated masks—a skill much respected by the Old People. At traditional potlatches, he was often called upon to perform with the masks for multiple chiefs. When his brother Lelooska passed away in 1996, Tsungani became Clan Chief of the House of Lelooska and the House of Sewide. The name Gixken meaning “Chief of Chiefs” was also passed to him.
As Clan Chief, Tsungani devotes his time to educational work as the storyteller in the Living History Programs and as an active Northwest Coast Woodcarver. He continues to work in the traditional styles creating masks, totem poles, bowls and rattles. His work can be seen throughout the country, but his greatest honors are the pieces that he has been able to create for several hereditary chiefs.
10am-3pm. $60. Please bring a lunch.