This Kulus Headdress is carved by Native American artist Karver Everson from the K’ómoks and Kwakwaka´wakw Walas Kwaguł First Nation. This headdress is carved in red cedar and painted in green, blue-green, red, black, and white acrylic. It has been finished with copper, abalone, cedar bark, and goose feathers.
Ko'lus/Kolus/Kulus is a young Thunderbird, sometimes referred to as the younger brother or sister of Thunderbird. The Ko'lus has a coat of white down so thick it makes him hot and prone to sweating. Like the Thunderbird, the Ko'lus has the ability to transform into a human. When overheated, the Ko'lus removes his down to become temporarily human. A highly respected symbol, Ko'lus is known as a protector spirit. In many origin stories, a Ko'lus flew down from heaven and shed his coat, transforming into a human and becoming the founding ancestor of the tribe or clan.
The Thunderbird Symbol represents power, protection, and strength. He is often seen as the most powerful of all spirits and can also transform into human form by opening his head up like a mask and taking his feathers off as if they were a mere blanket. Under his wings are lightning snakes, which he can use as a tool or weapon.
Find more information about and examples of The Thunderbird Northwest Coast First Nations symbol.
Kulus is the younger brother or sister of the supernatural Thunderbird and appears in his avian persona as a giant juvenile bird covered with white and brown feathers.
Like the elder brother, he or she resides on mountain tops and has a primary diet of whales. Kulus is often portrayed in the art and in the stories as having an abundance of feathery plumage, a thick coat of white down, and often a bluish-green beak. Kulus is usually depicted with white feathers on the top of the head and in some cases, Thunderbird’s characteristic “horns” above its forehead, as Karver has created in this headdress.
Legendary stories about Kulus frequently recount how the bird gets so hot that it has a tendency to sweat profusely, at which time it is happy to shed its feathered cloak and become a supernatural human for a while.
In many origin stories, Kulus comes down from heaven, sheds its skin, and becomes the founding ancestor of a tribe. Following his instructions to the people, Kulus gives the people important dances for the sacred winter ceremonials.
The mask is about 20 inches or 51 cm long, 11.5 inches or 29 cm high, and 9 inches or 23cm wide.
The headdress does not include the stand shown. Please contact us if you are interested in purchasing the stand.