Bee mask by Gilbert Dawson
- Nation: Kwakwaka' wakw art, Kwakiutl art, native artists Vancouver Island
- Artist: Dawson, Gilbert
- Type: Mask
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BEE MASK by First Nations artist Gilbert Dawson, a member of the Kwakiulth First Nation, originating from Alert Bay in BC. Gilbert worked with Beau Dick, Bruce Alfred and many others and is a very talented artist and singer of more than 75 ceremonial songs. I heard him sing many times and his voice is really amazing, very strong and powerful)
THis is one of his earlier pieces - clearly high quality. Gilbert designed and hand painted this piece in vibrant colors. The cedar bark that's adorning the mask shows some minor losses but nothing unexpected due to time. Just a gorgeous, authentic piece of Indigenous art - red cedar.
Measurements: 10" wide, 12" high (including cedar bark), mask itself is 7" x 5 1/2" x 3"
Meaning: The Bee symbolizes a strong sense of community and honesty and happiness. In the celebration of life ceremony, Bee dancer play an important role. They usually are busy roaming around, trying to amuse people, dance around other dancers and try to catch, touch and then sting them. It is not meant as a threat, rather a play and after another dancer has been stung, he/she will be compensated with a little gift. The bee masks are easy recognizable, always showing spikes on their face.