Freda Diesing (Canada, 1925 - 2002) decorative tribal mask inscribed to inside "Human face mask made of alder wood By Freda Diesing 1979". Hand carved of alder wood, cedar bark, & hair, & hand painted. Measures 9-1/8" in height with width of 6-1/2" & depth of 5". All measurements are approximate, in Good overall condition.
Freda Diesing was born June 2, 1925 in Prince Rupert, British Columbia & was a Haida woman of the Sadsugohilanes Clan. She was one of very few female carvers of Northwest Coast totem poles, beginning her career at age 42 & a member of the Council of the Haida Nation of British Columbia, Canada. She studied at the Vancouver School of Art & at the Gitanmaax School of Northwest Coast Indian Art at 'Ksan Village. In the 1960s Diesing & a handful of other artist were responsible for the re-awakening of Northwest Coast art & culture. She carved masks and bowls as well as totem poles, & her poles include two poles raised at the Tsimshian community of Kitsumkalum near Terrace, B.C., with the assistance of a Tsimshian team, a 1987 pole for the RCMP station in Terrace, and poles in Prince Rupert. .In the 1980s her work was included in the ground breaking exhibition "Legacy - Tradition & Innovation in Northwest Coast Indian Art" that was assembled by the Royal British Columbia Museum, which later toured to other countries helping bring awareness & appreciation to her culture's art & history to the world at large. Freda contributed many works to local communities & her work can be seen in Prince Rupert & Terrace. in 2002 she was awarded an honorary diploma from Northwest Community College, & in 2002 received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award & an honorary doctorate from the University of Northern British Columbia. Her Haida name is Skil Kew Wat, meaning "magical little woman." She died December 4, 2002.