Yaksim Bigwanum symbolizes evolution of family and life stories.
Yaksim Bigwanum is told to be on of late great artist Beau Dick ancestors. Yaksim masks are used for ceremonies – like Potlatch. It helps display various ancestor stories. All these stories keep on evolving, because family is always evolving (marriage, children, life, death…). The ceremony starts with Yaksim falling from heaven into Undersea World. Here he has an encounter with Sea Spirit – Kumugwe. After this event other masks – representing different characters and incarnations of Yaksim – join the ceremony to take the story further along. Cole Speck made this particular mask as tribute to his passed away mentor Beau Dick and tells his own following ancestor legend.
A boy born with a serious facial malformation is rejected by everyone in his village, especially by his own father. As a young adult he is so depressed, he goes into the forest to commit suicide. In the forest he makes various attempts. These all fail. Then he sees a high cliff. He thinks “if I jump there, it is definitely the end”. To get to the cliff he walks through a flower field. As he walks through the field, he falls into a trance. He feels the flower tops glide past his fingers. He suddenly feels supernatural – he gets the feeling that he can fly.
With this powerful feeling he returns to his village. Everyone who sees him does not recognize him.
They no longer see ugliness, they see beauty. They embrace and love him.
For us, this emphasizes your own power to convert negativity into positivity – ugliness into beauty. Simply change your own attitude towards yourself – love yourself and your originality. The outside world will follow your new believes. It’s about your own mind set and positive energy.