Transformation Masks

Transformation masks are complex, intricately built masks designed to depict the dual nature of mythological beings. The Kwakwaka’wakw carried this art to its highest form. The masks are used in dances, where the dancer may “open” the mask via a series of strings in order to reveal a second figure, usually a “human” mask concealed within an animal exterior. Transformation masks are constructed from several sections; the outer sections come together to form the animal or mythological form, which then split to the sides to reveal the interior mask.