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Deer Spirit Mask, 1991

Regular price $900.00 Sale

Deer Spirit Mask, 1991
by Gerard Tsonakwa, Abenaki

wood, horse hair, deer antlers, caribou fur
21” high x 17” wide x 7.5” deep 

Gerard Rancourt Tsonakwa is an Abenaki Sculptor and Storyteller from Quebec, Canada.  He now resides in Tucson, Arizona, and his work has been influenced both by his northern roots as well as the southwest where he has found a new home.  Using stone, antler, bone and wood, he creates powerful masks and sculptures which draw from Native American social and spiritual traditions. With contemporary as well as ancient techniques, he creates works of art which have a beauty, originality and energy.

Tsonakwa carries on the traditions of his father:

"When I left my dear Canada, I came into a world of cities that I had only begun to understand.  For a long time I had difficulty dealing with the different ways and attitudes about life and the land.  I became trapped in the cities, I never blended in.  I became a Metis, a walker in the shadows between worlds and did not belong to either.  I walked about with a life so small I could carry it under my fingernails.

I finally had to choose a way of living and I chose the old ways.  Taking heart in the old ways and images of home,  I did what my father had always asked me to do...carve the memories of the people.  Carve the light and shadow of the forest, wild birds crying in the broken sky, joyful splashing of fins in the river, and a small breeze in the grass.

And then my life and some of the life around me changed.  An old spirit came back and life became so great that the sky could not cover it, the mountains and forests could not contain it, neither the wind nor the rivers could move it.

Now, in every piece of good stone or wood I hear a voice like the wind in the forests and the mighty wind in the mountain peaks that bends the trees.  It says to the ear ‘Look now and be careful, for already you too are an ancestor to generations yet to be born."   -Tsonakwa

 

Works by Gerard Rancourt Tsonakwa are in the permanent collections of the following institutions:

Field Museum
American Indian Archeological Institute
Medicine Hat Museum
University of Nebraska Museum
Bell Museum of Natural History
Wheelwright Museum
San Diego Museum of Man
Schiel Museum
Schiel Museum
Charlotte Natural History Museum
Vermont State Historic Society
Bell Museum of Natural History