190307-11 Makah mask, WILD WOMAN - BASKET WOMAN by Micah James Vogel
Approximate Overall 21" h x 21" w
Wood Mask : 9 3/4: h x 5 3/4"w x 4" deep
Although the artistic traditions and styles of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples are as varied as the different First Nation bands themselves; much of their subject matter stems from the same stories, myths and legends. The northwest coast First Nations all tell the tales of the wild woman of the woods.
A fearsome figure supposedly twice as big as regular humans, the wild woman was a black and hairy ogress with great powers. Some believe her to be the Sasquach. She is also known to whistle. Elders would tell children that if they foolishly ventured into the forest alone, the wild woman would surely capture and eat them whole. On her back, she carried a basket where she’d put the children before whisking them away. Although the wild woman represents the dangerous and dark part of the forests, she’s also a bringer of prosperity for many northwest shore Canadian First Nations.
Micah Vogel is a master artist who specializes in Makah-style carving of masks, rattles, totem poles, and drums. Vogel began carving at the age of nine, beginning with small, simple projects. At sixteen Micah apprenticed with master carver Greg Colfax on the Makah Reservation. At twenty-two, Vogel had established himself as a professional carver. Micah Vogel believes that carving and pride in cultural traditions helps to keep youth off of the streets, providing a source of income, forming a connection with heritage, and cultivating self-esteem.
As the recipient of a 1996 Folk Arts Apprenticeship grant, Vogel taught Jazz Aguirre traditional Makah carving techniques, with steps to include roughing out, fine finishing, painting, and making hair for masks and head dresses. Aguirre and Vogel are first cousins who grew up together and often refer to one another as brothers.