Vivid Sea Urchin Spirit Mask
David Mungo Knox
Stunning Kwakiutl Urchin Spirit mask
This powerful mask represents David's unrelenting quest for his ancestoral lineage through his passionate artwork. This traditional Kwakiutl Urchin Spirit mask with dramatic spines emenating from the forehead of the mask is deeply hand carved and finely painted. David has become specifically known for his quest to show in his artwork the seemless transition between man and nature in the ageless oral histories and legends of his people.
David Mungo Knox
David creates many types of native artwork. As one of the only blood descendants of the renowned Chief Mungo Martin, he comes from a unique culture, including a great line of Hereditary Chiefs, Master carvers and skilled dancers. He began doing traditional art in 1991 apprenticing under his uncle Tony Hunt Sr. and his cousin, Tom Hunt. His work ranges from masks carved from red or yellow cedar to drums, prints, and walking sticks. The success that Mungo and the other family members have had in preserving the Kwakiult culture, influences David greatly and this shows in his artwork. His goal is to carry on these family traditions.
" When I was a little boy, I use to wonder why I was dancing around a fire in the Big House. I was in my mid-teens when I really sat down and thought of who I was and where I came from. Just knowing all the stories my great grandmother use to tell me and teach me how to dance the Hamatsa in her kitchen, as well as learning all the preparation in a potlatch and in feast gives me great pride and more understanding of who I am and where I come from, which is a big responsibility and everyday, a learning process.
When I go to harvest the big red cedar tree, I say a thanking to the mighty creator for giving me the tree and making me sure I will use the entire tree. The tree can be used to make shelter, cloth, tools, rope, canoes, masks, totem poles, crest poles, memorials poles and welcome figures. When I carve a ceremonial mask, I select a nice piece of tight grain, red cedar. I have in mind what I want to make, so I start to remove wood with an elbo adz until I get it into the shape I want it. Next, I use a straight knife, curved knife and a slightly curved knife to cut the lines and curves out the deep spots to sink in the eye orbits. It is a wonderful feeling to accomplish a mask that will be worn in many potlatches and feasts for many years to come. It is important to know the proper elements for designing, knowing all of the shapes that are used and using them correctly and making them flow together. Designing a mask is not the same as doing it on paper, a mask is three-dimensional and paper is two-dimensional".