Shaman's Soul Catcher, by Francis Horne Sr. - SOLD


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This is a rare opportunity - a piece, every Indigenous native art collector is looking for...

Soul Catcher (keeper of breath), by master artist Francis Horne Sr. from the Coast Salish Nation

Fantastic quality, superb craftsmanship. The Soul catcher is inlaid throughout with a total of 18 (!) pieces of Abalone, Mother of Pearl, very detailed carving, have a close look to appreciate all the details please. Spirit face in the middle, bear forms on each end. The traditional cedar bark band/necklace is hand woven. Francis' wife Brenda helped, she also added the little copper accents onto it, just a beautiful detail.

Francis used a special kind of wood "Vine Maple" for this piece, the wood is looking almost identical to bone. He added the cedar bark plugs on each side (signed on the inside on the plug)

Soul Catchers are among the most sacred objects created. The soulcatcher was worn as an amulet by a shaman, and critically important in their healing practice. Its use stems from the belief that when a soul is separated from the person’s physical body it can cause illness and damage. It is a shaman’s unique gift to find the person’s soul, capture it within the soulcatcher, and reunite it with its patient, resulting in healing and wholeness. The tool was designed so that the shaman could suck in a wayward soul once it was found and secure the spirit in the hollow tube by plugging the ends with cedar bark. Upon removing the cedar bark, the soul was blown back into it’s person reuniting body and soul. To cure the patient, the shaman would wear the Soul Catcher as a necklace. He would then travel to the spirit world by calling helper spirits using trance music and employing helper-spirit masks. 

This new piece of art brought in by Francis solidifies our belief that he is among the very finest Northwest Coast artists working today. His research into historic works, coupled with his deep understanding of design and his impeccable craftsmanship make each new work a masterpiece and important.

As the myth goes, it is believed that all soul catchers were originally only constructed by the Tsimshian tribe and traded to the other tribes in the Pacific Northwest. Originally, Soul Catchers were constructed of a tube of bear femur (the bone of the thigh or upper hind limb), incised on one or both sides, and often ornamented with abalone shell. Bears had powerful shamanic connotations among the people of the Northwest Coast. 

Very often, Soul Catchers were decorated with a sisiutl-like animal: a land-otter or bear head at both ends of the tube, and an anthropomorphic face in the middle. This form may have represented the ability to shift shapes, or the mythological land-otter canoe implying the ability to travel between the three realms: air, earth, and water. 

Measurements: wood itself: 6 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 1"

We guarantee the authenticity of every piece of art sold through our Gallery on this page!!! 

Each piece we show is the original and is the piece you’ll receive!

We do not offer “similar or different than image shown”, copies, reproductions, mass-produced, machine made or so called native-inspired/native-style knock-off pieces.

Note: Invoice in CAD, overseas shipping costs $45 CAD added at check-out, USD amounts based on average weekly exchange rate, shipping within one business day.

Photos of This Piece

Sold or Sale Pending

About This Artist

Francis Horne Sr. is a member of the Coast Salish First Nation. He was born in 1954 in Mount Vernon, Washington and raised in Duncan, a small village on Vancouver Island, BC, Canada. Francis began carving in 1972 and credits the late Simon...Artist bio and other available works »

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