John Henry Hunt

Kwakiutl Bookwus

12" H x 8 1/2" W x 8" D

This is a beautiful and authentic hand-carved Northwest Coast mask. The mask is made of red cedar and was carved by John Henry Hunt. On the inside of the mask is written “Kwakiutl Bookwus, Chief of the Ghosts by John Henry Hunt."

John Hunt was born in 1974 in Alert Bay, a small fishing community off the east coast of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia. John is a member of the Kwagiulth Nation and takes the powerful Thunderbird as his family crest.

John lists Tony Hunt Jr. as his teacher and his grandfather, Henry Hunt as his inspiration. John began to carve in 1991 and prefers to work with the soft Red Cedar indigenous to British Columbia.

A quickly rising artist, he was born into a family renowned for its master-carvers. He apprenticed with his uncles Stan and Tony Hunt Jr. Given his first set of carving tools at 14 years of age; he spent that summer training at the Copper Maker Studios in Fort Rupert. He currently specialises in mask of great detail and depth that appeal to both contemporary and traditional collectors.

Don't miss out on the chance to have a beautiful mask from a member of a legendary family of artists.

Bookwus, the Wildman of the Woods, is a non human character that lives on the edge of the forest near the ocean shore. He lurks at the mouths of creeks where he entices the souls of drowned humans, persuading them with ghost food to come and live with him. He lives in an invisible house in the woods where he communicated with the dead and brought them back to life during the winter dance season.

Bookwus is an important supernatural creature in Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwaqiutl) mythology. Masks representing him are usually carved with great care. He has prominent eye brows with sunken eye sockets and round inhuman eyes.

His nose is curved like a birds beak and he often has ears that stand upright and alert, representing his acute hearing. His forehead and cheeks often have ridges carved into them that emphasize his skull like form.

The more northern version, called Bawas by the Tsimshian people, is more human in appearance.

Gallery Price: $1,200.00


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