The Eagle Mask, carved by artist Lyle Wilson in 1989, represents the ancestral crest of the Eagle Clan of the Haisla people in Kitamaat, B.C.
Inspired by eagles and the Haisla people’s admiration and adoption of many traits of the bird, Wilson says he was influenced by Haisla art in his formative years.
“The mid-coast of British Columbia, at the head of Douglas Channel,” says Wilson, “is our home, Kitamaat. The name Kitamaat means ‘People of the Snow’ and alludes to the large quantities of snow we experience in the winter.”
The Eagle Mask represents the universal characteristics of pride, beauty and ferociousness. The feathers are carved from yellow cedar in the artist’s effort to preserve real eagle feathers.
Lyle Wilson was always conscious and appreciative of Haisla art, but did not pursue art as a possible profession until he attended the University of British Columbia. At that time he committed to a career in art, leading to further education at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. For many years, he was the Artist in Residence at the University Of British Columbia Museum Of Anthropology.
The Allard School of Law gratefully acknowledges Peter A. Allard, Q.C. for providing this gift of art, currently displayed in the Law Library at Allard Hall.
The Eagle Mask was recently acquired from the Inuit Gallery of Vancouver, Ltd.