Shawn Karpes

Sisiulth and Kolus Headdress

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  • Sisiulth and Kolus Headdress

Shawn Karpes

Sisiulth and Kolus Headdress

Sold

This Sisiulth and Kolus Headdress was hand-carved by Namgis artist Shawn Karpes. The bottom of the headdress is carved from red cedar, painted in red and black acrylic, and features a Sisiulth or Sea Serpent design. On the top is a removable Ko'lus design, carved from red cedar, painted in white, black and red acrylic and attached by a hand-carved yellow cedar dowel. Both the Kolus and Sisiulth are crests from Gilford Island in British Columbia. Sisiulth is an important crest for the Namgis peoples and is associated with winter dances.

The Sisiutl or Sea Serpent symbolizes protection, supernatural power and revival. It is one of the most powerful symbols in Kwakwaka’wakw culture. The Sisiutl/Sisiulth is a supernatural three-headed serpent that possesses shapeshifting abilities and the ability to turn spectators into stone when gazed upon.

Find more information about and examples of The Sisiutl Northwest Coast First Nations symbol.

Kolus is a young Thunderbird, sometimes referred to as the younger brother or sister of Thunderbird. The Kolus has a coat of white down so thick it makes him hot and prone to sweating. Like the Thunderbird, the Kolus has the ability to transform in to a human. When overheated, the Kolus removes his down to become temporarily human. A highly respected symbol, Kolus is known as a protector spirit. In many origin stories, a Kolus 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.

The headdress measures approximately 14 1/4 inches or 36 1/4 centimeters high, 11 inches or 28 centimeters wide, and 7 1/2 inches or 19 centimeters deep.

The price includes shipping to the USA and Canada.