Primeval Forest Ceremonial Mask   (2018)

Papier mache' and bone

Dating from the 14th century, this helmet/mask represents Wevenlos, the hunter-god of a pagan tribe isolated deep within Bialowieza - the dark, sprawling forest of eastern Europe.  These people worshiped the giant brown bear; magna brunneis ursa (which was hunted to extinction by the 19th century) and relied on it as a source of food.

The mask is formed from the modified pelvis of a bear and the helmet, from the skull of an honored tribesman.  The wearer's eyes are hidden in the tall grass and the ears are alerted to the slightest sound.

This artifact also speaks to the birth of Wevenlos, who according to ancient Germanic and Polish mythology. was born of a bear.  From the bear's loins springs the spirit of Wevenlos...." and his thoughts became the wind."