The Spirit of the Mask: The secret world of the Northwest Coast Natives

This award-winning documentary provides a unique look inside the world of masks, rituals and supernatural mythical creatures of the Pacific Northwest Coast native peoples- featuring well known author/ethnobotanist Wade Davis and First Nations hereditary chiefs and cultural leaders.

 National Geographic explorer-in-residence Wade Davis narrates this award-winning program in the Sacred Ways series.

Davis, a Harvard-educated anthropologist and ethnobotanist, introduces viewers to the cultural beliefs and rituals practiced by the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest coast, where masks are not simply art, but are tools for the secular world to access the realm of the spiritual and supernatural.

The repression of these masks by Christian Europeans is also explored.

The "Spirit of the Mask" unlocks the secret world of the Northwest Coast Indians, revealing the myths, rituals and ceremonies that gave rise to both powerful art and a special understanding of man's relationship to the natural and supernatural worlds.

This exploration of the spiritual and psychological powers of the mask features dramatic, rarely seen ceremonies and also tells the story of the Northwest Coast peoples' struggle to preserve their sacred traditions against the onslaught of European colonialism. Along the way we learn how the mask, even in contemporary culture, enables us to embody our myths and our dreams...and to give us the power of healing.

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