This story is making the rounds on Bigfoot sites. The mask and native stories are often used as circumstantial evidence to support the idea of the reality of a Bigfoot/Sasquatch. However, there may be pitfalls in using the stories to equate with modern lore. I have on my list of things to do to research more on the link between today’s cryptids and legendary entities of folklore. The article makes a connection to Sasquatch as described by indigenous people but I’m not clear how solid that connection is. How do we know that the mask represents the same entity that we now refer to as “sasquatch” or Bigfoot? Or are we jumping to conclusions?
Hunting for an elusive sasquatch mask revered by a British Columbia First Nation has been a 16-year journey for James Leon, taking him through London, Boston, New York and Ottawa.
Leon was at a repatriation event for another First Nations artifact held by the Vancouver Museum when he asked the lady sitting beside him if she knew of the ape-like mask partially covered in bear fur.
“Her eyes lit up and she said ‘We were just looking at that mask the other day.’ And they were gracious enough to go get it for me,” he said with a chuckle.
The mask disappeared in 1939 from Sts’ailes First Nation, near Harrison Hot Springs in B.C.’s Fraser Valley.
The mask was carved by Ambrose Point based on stories “from the beginning of time.”
Before ended up at the museum, it was supposedly obtained by JW Burns, the man who was interested in the lore of hairy giants told by the natives. He coined the term “sasquatch” in the 1920s (from the native word sásq’ets), long before Bigfoot appeared in pop culture as a “real” being in 1958. Are we conflating mythical lore with the modern myth? It’s possible. The natives believed in other spirit creatures that do not exist in real life. There are many OTHER representations that do not resemble Sasquatch. [PDF] It’s a potential hazard to jump to conclusions and call this a representation of Sasquatch.
If anyone has solid references to this particular topic, please post in comments.