This Kumugwe or Chief of the Undersea People is hand-carved in yellow cedar and signed by Kwakwaka'wakw artist Talon George from the Gwa’sala and ‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nations in Port Hardy on Vancouver Island.
"Kumugwe is the Chief of the Sea, he has a house in the undersea filled with many riches such as copper and abalone. It is said that Kumugwe's world is guarded by the Octopus which is why I have one atop of his head." - Talon George
The Komokwa Symbol represents the “Wealthy One” and is the mythical King of the Supernatural Undersea World. He is also called the Copper Maker. The King or Guardian of the Sea is a very powerful and wealthy ruler who lives in a great House made of copper under the sea, filled with food and treasures. It is said that he is the master and protector of the seals and has live sea lions as house posts that guard the entrance.
Find more information about and examples of The Komokwa Northwest Coast First Nations symbol.
This mask features a carved Octopus head and carved red tentacles atop. Four additional red tentacles in red cotton are designed to sit at the top of the mask. Depending on your display preferences they can be styled as you wish or removed.
The mask has copper eyes with abalone, copper teeth, copper cheeks, six copper crescents on the forehead, three abalone inlays on the cheeks and nose, and eight abalone inlays on the cheeks and forehead of the Octopus. There are a few stable natural cracks visible on the cheek that can be seen in the photographs.
Talon is a young artist (born in 2004) that has already worked with and learned from some very exceptional artists. This mask is a great example of his creativity and skill, as well as his drive to push the envelope and try new things.
The mask is about 22 inches or 56 centimeters long and about 11.5 inches or 29 centimeters wide (without the red cotton tentacles) and about 9 inches or 23 centimeters deep.