A very rare original ceremonial Northwest Coast Salish dance mask dating from the early 1900’s. The mask is known as a “Sxwaixwe mask ” and depicts powerful spirit figures and representaions. This mask ius large and carved of alder wood and features wonderful brightly painted expressive imagery. There are a group of holes along the top edge that once would have had feather bundles inserted. The central mask figure with is bulging eyes is the chief features of these masks as well as the bird head representations. There was only one ceremonial mask used by the Coast Salish and that was the elaborate, three dimensional mask called the Sxwaixwe. The Sxwaixwe is a very important prestigious guardian spiritof certain Coast Salish families. This is the most prominent spirit to be represented with a dancing costumed winter Spirit Quest ceremony. The full costume and masked dancers are seen in numerous historic photographs documenting the ceremony. The dancers are usually dressed in capes with feather and deer hoof adornments.Rare if ever found outside of a museum setting this fine large impressive mask will make a fine addition to anyone’s collection..