The first function I went to with my now-husband and his friends took place in late 2007. It was a masquerade birthday party for one of his college friends. I was only a week or two out of ACL surgery and still on crutches at the time. By 2011, I was as firm a friend with the same woman as Hubs, and when she hosted another birthday masquerade party, I knew I had to make a very special mask for the occasion. Enter the coyote mask.
I have always been fascinated by mythology. I especially enjoyed stories about trickster figures -- Loki from Norse mythology, Raven and Coyote from certain Native American tribes. Since my interest in mythological trickster figures has not waned over time (Tom Hiddleston as Loki in recent major motion pictures doesn't hurt!), I decided to make the mask for her party the first of a series of trickster masks.
For coyote, I wanted to make a mask that, while drawing from traditional symbols, also reflected modern conveniences and fashions. I began with a basic half mask and wire, and sculpted a frame of the face. I used paper mache to flesh out the mask, then painted it with a dusty colored paint. Sand was incorporated directly into the paint to ensure that it would stick and that the mask would have a sandy texture.
I decorated the mask with wire, beads, and crystals, drawing from traditional symbols of several southwestern Indian tribes, including a personal favorite, Kokopelli (across the left eye of the mask).
Finally, I also decorated the stick with crystals and beads. Overall, I like it -- a little bit old and a little bit new! I think this might be one of the nicest, if not the nicest, craft projects I've ever made.