x 7 1/2" L
In 1941, Dalbert Weir was
born in the village of Masset on the Queen Charlotte Islands,
British Columbia. His forefathers in the maternal line were of
the Raven clan. As a child, he spent many hours watching fine
Haida craftsmen carving Argillite and wood. The beauty and perfection
of their work made a deep impression on him.
Later, Dalbert had the opportunity
to study the principles of northwest coast design at the 'Ksan",
the first native art school located near Hazelton, British Columbia.
His attention to perfecting his craft makes each piece a work
The mask has been carved from
alder wood and is some parts are as thin as a dime,making the
mask very light weight suitable for wearing. Painted in traditional
colors and showing carving skills beyond belief this dogfish
mask is in excellent condition.
Dogfish are small, fierce
and solitary sharks that Northwest Coast peoples were wary of.
It is a prominent crest and mythic being, especially amongst
A large, domed forehead, representing
the snout, triangular teeth, gill lines, round eyes with oval
pupils and a hooked or beak nose, characterizes dogfish.
Dogfish figure prominently
in the legends and art of the Native Americans of the northwest
coast of the United States and Canada. Images of dogfish, such
as this Haida mask, are seen in jewelry, totem poles and masks.
The Dogfish is a crest that
is often applied to utilitarian objects. Its often portrayed
with a labret in its lip as a reminder of a legend of a woman
carried off by the Dogfish a long time ago.
The Dogfish Woman Mask is
the most prominent Shark in Haida legends. Its considered
a family crest of Haida royalty. All other Sharks are referred
to as "Dogfish Mother.
In addition to the Shark-like
features, the Dogfish Woman wears a labret in her lower lip which
is traditionally worn by artistocratic Haida women. The Dogfish
is one of the most powerful crests that is associated with feminine
qualities. As well, it enters the realm of supernatural beings.