Bryon Amos has been a sculpture, mask maker, also an ivory carver since the age of 9. His father the late Walter T. Amos was also a famous mask maker originating from Nunivak Island. Bryon Amos waited 8 years before replicating his father’s masks made from wood. It is his heritage to keep the family tradition within the family lineage of ancient traditions passed down from generation to generation.
In the ancient times the wood was found from the shores of Nunivak Island, the wood was a highly special commodity for the people. The paint of the masks was made from red ochre rock, mixed in seal blood. The black was also a charcoal rock mixed in seal blood, the white paint originated four feet beneath the ground as white clay, the string used is original walrus sinew.
The double walrus mask design was first originated by my father many years ago. The design is unique of two sitting walrus attached together with a face of a man in the middle. The inner wood ring presents the earth, and the outer ring the universe. The mask presented was made for festival gatherings, for dancing purposes, also made for trade of goods, tools, food and clothing. The mask made today are usually made for sale, by corporate businesses, individual businesses, also high profile arts collectors.
The top piece presents the loon head with a minnow in its mouth. The hands of the man, the wings of the loon, the seal design on the sides of the mask, the feet of the man, the webbed feet of the loon, and the loons tail. This mask presented the lifeline of the ancient people of Nunivak Island, without the walrus, the people would perish, for the walrus provided every necessary food supply, tools for hunting, weaponry, clothing, the walrus skin provided an abundant and necessary covering for kayaks, skin boats to travel the seas and ocean.
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