The pre-1900 cedar mask is scheduled to go on public display next month

The pre-1900 cedar mask is scheduled to go on public display next month

A very old tribal mask that is believed to have inspired the original Seattle Seahawks logo is going on display next month at the Burke Museum in Seattle.

The pre-1900 cedar mask is about 2 feet long, about 3 feet wide and weighs about 5 pounds. The mask is scheduled to be part of an exhibit called "Here & Now: Native Artists Inspired", opening November 22 and running until next July.

Here & Now explores the dynamic relationship between the Burke Museum and Northwest Native art, artists and scholars. It shares and celebrates master artists of the past and present in the enthusiasm and creativity of today's' emerging artists.

The exhibit in Seattle will feature 30 new works by contemporary Native artists, paired with historic pieces the artists identify as key to their learning. During Here & Now, the mask will be displayed along with Native artists' interpretations of the signatures Seahawks design and logo.

For decades, there has been speculation about what piece of art might have provided inspiration for the Seahawk emblem. According to a museum spokeswoman, the logo was designed by the NFL, not the team.

And while it's not known exactly who designed the logo, it is known they consulted works on native art.

Burke Museum officials have brought community experts from the Kwakwaka'wakw Nations to view the mask and provide information to be used in its display.

Officials are 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. He said, "I've been around this all my life and it still blows my mind".

The Burke Museum is currently involved in fundraising through Kickstarter public-fundraising campaign and the success of the project still depends on that. Currently, it has achieved about 60% of its $14,575 goal.

Burke Museum officials are asking Seahawks fans to donate $12 a piece to the project in honor of the team's "12th Man" fans.