This horse hair burned mask is wide enough to snugly fit most faces, emphasizing that the numerous keystone species of salmon are equalizers in their endangerment effects. Salmon do not only affect white or native people, or the poor or rich. They take a large part in many relationships, and in some, these fish are a critical way of life. This mask’s resounding theme echoes strongly: Their extinction will affect all of us in some way.
A few stanzas from my poem, ‘the salmon people’, are carved into the clay.
“tell them the red road is burning.
tell them it is made of maroon, cycloid scales.
they made your people salmon. salmon meaning endangered, boiling in silted water.
unify this forest, for if the salmon sinks,
aren’t we next?
tell them I braided my hair and
went to war.
- a warrior.”