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Echo Masks, Myths, Rock Art Steven J. Waller, Ph.D.

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Presentation on theme: "Echo Masks, Myths, Rock Art Steven J. Waller, Ph.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 Echo Masks, Myths, Rock Art Steven J. Waller, Ph.D.

2 Echo Masks, Echo Myths, and Echoing Rock Art Sites of the Pacific Northwest

3 Echo Mask (NUXALK by Silyas Saunders)

4 Echo Masks Echo masks of the Pacific Northwest are a mobilary art form that is a manifestation of cultural beliefs in echo spirits.

5 Echo Mask Kwakwaka'wakw, early 20 th c. Transformation Mask has 4 mouthpieces.

6 Echo Mask originally owned by Bond Sound and was taken from him after the big potlatch in It was put into the collection of the Canadian Museum of Civilization. It was returned to the U'mista Cultural Centre Mouthpieces

7 Echo Transformation Mask (contemporary) by James Bender Human

8 Echo Transformation Mask (contemporary) by James Bender Woodpecker

9 Echo Transformation Mask (contemporary) by James Bender Frog

10 Echo Transformation Mask (contemporary) by James Bender Bear

11 Echo Mask Kwakwaka'wakw, by Simon Dick. Mask has 7 mouthpieces.

12 Echo Mask Kwakwaka'wakw, by Simon Dick. Mask has 4 mouthpieces.

13 Echo Mask (BELLA COOLA)

14 Echo Myth: The First Totem Pole (Kwakiutl) Wakiash wanted the Echo mask…Wakiash gave a great dance. He taught the people the songs. Echo came to the dance. He repeated all the sounds they made.

15 Echo Myth: Nuxalk Chief Nusmat-a or Qoqmai brought with him from above a house, called Kamatsonx. Within dwelt Echo, an incessant talker, who was very clever at learning languages; his rolling voice reverberated through the house and the whole countryside. This being acted as herald and summoned people to a dance by using the word Nusnuslika; whenever a descendent of Nusmat-a gives a potlatch he makes a mask with an ever- changing mouth to represent Echo. (McIlwraith)

16 Echo Myth: Kwakiutl Certain supernatural beings are present throughout all the tribes... include the sky elements Sun, Moon, and Echo.

17 Echo Myths: Morpholology -Northwest coast: The Saˆa or Echo is a Humanlike being that has the ability to imitate the sound or voice of any creature. She is found in a cave near Blunden Harbour. You will know the Echo is coming because she will imitate the sounds she hears. - Tlingit: "The world will call you ' Woman-of-the-forest ' (As-gutu'yik-ca). You will mock everybody that shouts or whistles. When they hear you they will know what it is. So she became the echo. -Txä'msEm ( Raven )... puts his voice as an echo into a cliff / bluff (Franz Boas 1902) - Snake River, The Origin of the Echo Mountain (Castle Rock) at Palouse Falls: Coyote decreed, This place shall be called the Repeater." When people shout unto the canyon, it will repeat back at them. He then turned his children into stone as landmarks to Coyote's power. The five of them are still there today in the rock formation near the falls (Scheuerman 2000). -Puget Sound: Moon transformed Echo (Ballard 1929)

18 Echo Myth: Tsimshian Inside the large house with front Txä'msem heard many people singing... So he went in, but he saw nobody. Still he heard the voices... This was the house of Chief Echo. Then Txä'msem heard the chief speak … Inside the large house with carved front Txä'msem heard many people singing... So he went in, but he saw nobody. Still he heard the voices... This was the house of Chief Echo. Then Txä'msem heard the chief speak … (Thompson 1929).

19 Echoes at Rock Art Sites Like Echo Masks, archaeoacoustic evidence suggests much parietal rock art may also be a manifestation of cultural beliefs in echo spirits.

20 Echoes at Rock Art Sites Echoes have been documented at hundreds of rock art sites globally, including the Pacific Northwest.

21 Echoing Rock Art Sites - She Who Watches, WA - Horsethief Butte lizard site, WA (J. Keyser) - Goist cave near Klamath Falls, OR (D. Lubman) - Stein River, BC (Leigh Marymor) - Oregon Jack, BC (C. Bose) - Similkameen, BC (B. Gould) - Hedley cave, Paradise Ranch, Gellatly, Savona, Kamloops and Siska, BC (S. Nankivell) - Nanaimo, BC

22 Echoing Rock Art Site: Horsethief Lake State Park, WA -Celilo Falls: Echo of Water on Rocks - Tsagiglalal: She Who Watches

23 Echoing Rock Art Site: Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, BC

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26 Echoes The natural acoustic soundscapes of rock art environments should thus be preserved for study and appreciation.

27 Echoes - Animistic paradigm - Supernatural explanation - Echo myths - Transformation echo masks - Motivation for rock art: > location > location > subject matter > subject matter

28 Echo Masks, Myths, Rock Art Steven J. Waller, Ph.D.


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