Indian warrior masks, artifacts on display at Crestview library

Blackwood Indian Mask

Romaneth Blackwood’s exhibit of original masks and artifacts at the Crestview Public Library includes a depiction of the Indian warrior Red Bull.

BRIAN HUGHES/ News Bulletin
Published: Monday, April 29, 2013 at 12:11 PM.

CRESTVIEW — An exhibition of American Indian masks and artifacts at the Crestview Public Library is a glimpse into the regional indigenous people’s creativity and artistry.

The display features historic pottery and contemporary reproductions by Crestview resident Romaneth Blackwood, a Blackfoot Indian and retired archeologist who rescued many of the pieces from development sites.

"I made it a point to rescue as much as possible before it was destroyed," he said, noting that pieces were collected with property owners’ permission.

Blackwood recreated the centerpiece warrior masks, some of which featured more than 300 pieces. The self-taught artist dug and refined the clay before working and firing the artworks.

The public will never see some of Blackwood's most striking works because the delicate firing process destroyed them, he said.

"You have to get it near the fire and dry it out or it will explode in your face," he said. "I had many, many beautiful pieces just blow up."

Several masks on display are reproductions that Blackwell created.

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