Shaman Transformation Mask by Francis Horne, Coast Salish Nation
Shaman Transformation Mask, c. 2000 by Francis Horne, Coast Salish First Nation
red cedar, cedar bark, horse hair 15.5” (with hair 31”) x 10” wide x 9” deep
This mask depicts a powerful shaman, wearing a crown of bear claws, in a transformative state between the living and spirit world.
Shamanism, a mystical practice that mediates between the worlds of spirits and the living, was a pivotal part of Northwest Coast culture. Shamans courted, controlled, and acquired power from spirits, and they were respected and feared as the most powerful members of the tribe.
Shaman performed rites to bless hunters and ensure their safety and success. Shamans were also healers. The people thought that when the uninitiated or untrained had contact with the spirits, or with places or objects of great power, the result could be physical or spiritual harm. They also believed that evil spirits were the cause of sickness. The power shamans received from spiritual and supernatural helpers largely determined their effectiveness in curing illness.
Francis Horne was born on October 18, 1954 in Mount Vernon, Washington, and raised in Duncan, British Columbia, Canada.
Francis began carving in 1972 and credits the late Simon Charlie, an accomplished artist and prominent Chief as an influential mentor. Largely self-taught, Francis gained his knowledge and mastery of carving and design through study of the Salish art form.
Francis has been providing instruction in all aspects of carving for the past forty years. He is carving instructor at the University of the Fraser Valley. The Indigenous Arts Certificate is the first university level First Nations art course in Canada.
Francis has received international attention with collectors globally. His creative artwork can be found in Singapore, Italy, Colombia and North America. The city of Duncan, known as the “City of Totem Poles,” includes five of his poles.
Residing in the Fraser Valley, Francis enjoys a successful career as a master carver, tool craftsman and graphic designer. His reputation for elaborate detail, precise incisions and original design reflects both his expertise and dedication to maintaining a high standard of quality and collectivity of his artwork.