In an attempt to clarify a multitude of misconceptions about the Quileute Tribe resulting from the Twilight films and books by author Stephanie Meyer, the Seattle Art Museum is presenting a new exhibition entitled Behind the Scenes: the Real Story of Quileute Wolves. The exhibition will run for one year and is comprised of 25 objects of Quileute art that offer a counterpoint to the fantasy of the Quileute as werewolves- a far cry from the poignant wolf creation myths that mark the true Quileute culture. .
The wolf plays a major role in the cultural beliefs of the Quileute Native Peoples of coastal Washington. According to oral traditions, the first Quileute people were changed from a pair of wolves into human form by the Transformer, Kwati. This creation legend is central to the Quileute world view, and wolf imagery is prominent in their art – from canoe prows to carving tools, fishing equipment to basketry and, especially, ceremonial wolf masks and rattles. In fact, to this day, the tribe continues to enact masked dances to honor the original supernatural connection to wolves.
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