Historically, Native Masks were mainly used for ceremonial purposes. The tribes felt as though these masks were representative of animals, myths and spiritual creatures. The Royal Canadian Mint has recreated the “Grandmother Moon Mask” in ultra high relief to translate this beautiful hand carved mask into a fine silver coin.
Its reverse design is a faithful reproduction of the wooden mask that Richard Cochrane carved from a 58.4 cm (23 in) piece of old-growth Red Cedar retrieved from Stanley Park after the 2006 windstorm. Royal Canadian Mint engravers recreated the mask’s wood grain and preserved the two dark growth lines as well as the protective ring of eight New Zealand abalone shells.
To Richard Cochrane and many of the First Nations tribes, the moon is indeed a sacred symbol that appears in countless First Nations traditions. This Aboriginal artist was indeed inspired to represent his interpretation of “Grandmother Moon” smiling down at him and onto the earth. He cherished each moment of the two years that it took to create this master piece.