Magazine article USA TODAY

Seattle Seahawks Logo "Masks" a Champion

Magazine article USA TODAY

Seattle Seahawks Logo "Masks" a Champion

Article excerpt

The artifact that may have inspired the logo design of the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks is a carved wooden Northwest Coast transformation mask that depicts a bird of prey when closed and reveals a painted depiction of a human face when opened.

The mask is on display at the University of Maine's Hudson Museum, Orono.

The brightly colored mask, which has mirrors for eyes, is two feet long when closed and three feet long open. Director Gretchen Faulkner says it likely was carved from cedar in the late 19th or early 20th century. Faulkner recounts that Richard Emerick, the late UMaine anthropologist and founder of the Hudson Museum, told her years ago that the wooden mask was the inspiration for the Seahawks logo that was unveiled when the team joined the NFL in 1975, but there was no corroborating information in the mask's collection file linking it to the Seahawks.

Now, though, a likely link exists. Robin K. Wright, curator of Native American Art and director of the Bill Holm Center at Burke Museum at the University of Washington, Seattle, attributes the mask to the Kwakwaka'wakw (kwock-kwocky-wowk)--indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest Coast. …

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