Understanding Northwest Coast Art is a handy, dictionary-style reference guide to identifying and understanding the symbols, crests, and beings depicted in Northwest Coast Native American works of art such as totem poles, masks, and prints. The first section of the book features an alphabetical list of words relating to Northwest Coast art, with definitions, descriptions, and explanations and synopses of the major myths associated with them. As an aid to identification and understanding, many of the crests, beings, and symbols are illustrated in 70 reproductions of contemporary artworks and archival photos. The entries cover a wide range: crests such as Eagle, Dogfish, or Dragonfly; ancestral beings such as Creek Woman or Thunderbird; mythic beings such as Raven, the Chief of the Undersea, or Cedar Man; and supernatural beings such as Death-Bringer. Understanding Northwest Coast Art also includes brief descriptions of the design conventions, design elements, and different art styles of Northwest Coast cultural groups, along with an overview of the interconnections between art, myth, and ceremony. Easy to use and easy to read, this volume is an essential source for understanding and visually identifying the underlying themes and subjects of Northwest Coast Native American art.