Representations in wood of the Shaman's spirit helpers main content.

Representations in wood of the Shaman's spirit helpers

Part of Northwest Coast Hall.

From the Coast Salish people, two carved wood representation of the Shaman’s spirit helpers. They are two human-like figures one with hair, one not.

Shamans were individuals to whom supernatural beings had granted the power to cause or cure disease. In this curing rites, the shaman summoned his spirit helpers by singing the special songs and performing the dances associated with them; these supernatural beings then bestowed the power to cure the patient. Some Coast Salish shamans carved representations in wood of their spirit helpers, such as those displayed here.