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.
Loon is known for its haunting voice and has the ability to traverse the various realms of land, sea, and sky and is often associated with beings of supernatural status. Among the Kwakwaka’wakw, Loon is connected to 'Kumugwe´, the Chief of the Undersea, and is often depicted on 'Kumugwe’s head. Likewise, some Kwakwaka’wakw chiefs and shamans will wear a Loon headdress and may be considered as a prominent spirit helper.