Seahawks Logo Inspired By Mask at Seattle’s Burke Museum

Seahawks Logo Inspired By Mask at Seattle's Burke Museum

Photo Credit: Getty Images
  • A colorful cedar mask is said to be the origin of the Seattle Seahawks’ logo.
  • The mask is originally based in Maine.
  • It will be on exhibit at Seattle’s Burke Museum until July 2015.



A mask which will soon be on display at Seattle’s Burke Museum is said to be the inspiration behind the Seattle Seahawks logo.

A mask which will soon be on display at Seattle‘s Burke Museum is said to be the inspiration behind the Seattle Seahawks logo. 

According to The Seattle Times’ Jack Broom, the cedar mask will be part of an exhibit entitled “Here & Now: Native Artists Inspired” that runs for eight months until July 2015: 

“It is silent, yet eloquent. Ancient, but relevant. Relatively light in in weight, but heavy in tradition and symbolism.

“The pre-1900 cedar mask that is believed to have inspired the original Seattle Seahawks logo is in town — on loan from the Maine museum that owns it — and is scheduled to go on public display at the Burke Museum starting late next month.

“Officials at the Burke Museum at the University of Washington this week have been learning about the mask and its use from Bruce Alfred, a native carver from Alert Bay, off the northern coast of Canada’s Vancouver Island.

“‘It’s very old, and a beautiful piece,’ said Alfred, 64, a member of the Namgis Band of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nations, in Seattle to view the mask and provide information to be used in its display.

“Aflred said the mask /4/have been the work of more than one artist — collaborations were common on such projects — and appears to have had its paint freshened up at some point over the decades, although its yellow, blue and red today are muted compared to how it /4/have looked new.

“The 2-foot-long piece, about 3 feet wide when opened, weighs about 5 pounds.

“…The mask is scheduled to be part of an exhibit in Seattle called ‘Here & Now: Native Artists Inspired,’ opening Nov. 22 and running until next July. The exhibit will feature 30 new works by contemporary Native artists, paired with historic pieces the artists identify as key to their learning.

“For decades, there has been speculation about what piece of art might have provided inspiration for the Seahawks emblem. The logo was designed by the NFL, not the team, a museum spokeswoman said. And while it’s not known exactly who designed the logo, it is known they consulted works on native art.

“Even though the ‘Seahawks’ mask is already in Seattle, Burke Museum offiicals said the success of the project still depends on Kickstarter public-fundraising campaign that’s only about 60 percent of the way toward its $14,575 goal.

“Kathryn Bunn-Marcuse, assistant director of the Bill Holme Center for the Study of Northwest Coast Art at the Burke Museum, said under Kickstarter procedures, unless the goal is hit, the museum won’t be able to claim the money already pledged, $8,700 from some 230 backers.

“The exhibit would go ahead, but the museum would be on the hook for its costs, she said.

“The budget includes not just the shipping and display of the mask, but the expense of having Alfred come examine it.

“The mask was located after a search that spanned the continent. Its current owner, the Hudson Museum at the University of Maine in Orono, received it as part of an estate.

“Burke Museum officials are asking Seahawks fans to donate $12 apiece to the project in honor of the team’s ’12th Man’ fans.

“Alfred said he has long has recognized the team’s resemblance to carvings of his people, and though he’s not a huge NFL fan, he did avidly follow last year’s Super Bowl run.

“‘I got caught up in it,’ he said. ‘The 12th Man is exciting.'”  

In another development, Seahawks cornerback Russell Wilson –who was drafted by MLB’s Colorado Rockies in the fourth round of the 2010 draft — told Tony Drovetto of the team’s official website that he was once roommates with San Francisco Giants lefty ace pitcher and 2014 World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner:

“The World Series wrapped up on Wednesday night in historic fashion, with 25-year-old Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner tossing five scoreless innings to close out a 3-2 victory against the Kansas City Royals in game seven of the best-of-seven series, notching the San Francisco ballclub its third championship in five years.

“As it turns out, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson has a personal link to the Bay Area’s latest title. 

“‘So, funny story about Madison Bumgarner,’ Wilson told reporters gathered at Renton’s Viriginia Mason Athletic Center ahead of the team’s ‘Turnover Thursday’ practice. ‘We were roommates at the East-West Showcase coming out of high school, [for] the top 100 players.'”

Wilson also sized up Bumgarner’s game, per Drovetto:

“I’ve gotten to know him over the past few years. I haven’t got in touch with him lately. So yeah, I used to play with him. We were on the same team and I think we won it all that Showcase. It was a good experience.

“He’s a big guy, could really throw it, great athlete. I’m excited for him. He’s a true competitor. I used to play against [San Francisco Giants catcher] Buster Posey, too. To watch those two guys — him catching and Bumgarner throwing — it’s pretty special.” 

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