Pookmis (Drown Whaler Spirit) Mask by Ernie Chester, Ditidaht First Nation
Pookmis Whaler Spirit Mask by Ernie Chester, Ditidaht First Nation
red cedar, pigment, horse hair 22” x 9” w x 9” d (including hair)
Pookmis is associated with healing or resurrection. Pookmis is known to the Haida as Gagiid, and to the Tlingit as Land Otter. To the Nuu-Chah-Nulth he is referred to as the Drowned Fisherman/Whaler Spirit. It is said that when a whaler drowns at sea, Pookmis swallows their spirit and carries it back to their home village, then blows it back out during the memorial ceremony.