Indigenous artwork on the Pacific Northwest Coast often incorporates figures and animals that are related to crest symbols. Crests have been passed down through families and have varying meanings depending on the context and association with a nation, clan, or family. The figures depicted in contemporary Northwest Coast Indigenous artwork also have varying meanings but there are some common characteristics from a range of sources, including oral histories and artist descriptions.
Sea Wolf is a supernatural figure that appears in Haida culture as Wasco/Wasgo, Gonakadet to the Tlingit, and is also in Kwakwaka’wakw traditions. To the Haida, Wasco is a giant sea monster with the head and tail of Wolf with Killer Whale elements, such as a dorsal fin and blowhole. Wasco is said to hunt Killer Whale and is therefore a popular figure among fishermen.