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Galukw’amł (Mask of the Crooked Beak)

Kwakwaka%27wakw%20artist%2C%20%3Cb%3E%3Ci%3E%20Galukw%26%238217%3Bam%26%23322%3B%20%28Mask%20of%20the%20Crooked%20Beak%29%3C%2Fi%3E%3C%2Fb%3E%2C%20ca.%201950%2C%20red%20cedar%2C%20paint%2C%20red%20cedar%20bark%2C%20metal%20nails%2C%20leather%2C%20and%20cord%2C%20The%20Elizabeth%20Cole%20Butler%20Collection%2C%20no%20known%20copyright%20restrictions%2C%2089.52.1
Kwakwaka'wakw artist, Galukw’amł (Mask of the Crooked Beak), ca. 1950, red cedar, paint, red cedar bark, metal nails, leather, and cord, The Elizabeth Cole Butler Collection, no known copyright restrictions, 89.52.1

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Details
Title

Galukw’amł (Mask of the Crooked Beak)

Artist

Kwakwaka'wakw artist (Kwakwaka'wakw)

Date

ca. 1950

Medium

red cedar, paint, red cedar bark, metal nails, leather, and cord

Dimensions (H x W x D)

length: 42 in

Collection Area

Native American Art; Modern and Contemporary Art

Category

Northwest Coast

Ceremonial and Ritual Objects

Object Type

mask

Cultural Group

Kwakwaka'wakw

Credit Line

The Elizabeth Cole Butler Collection

Accession Number

89.52.1

Copyright

no known copyright restrictions

Terms

bark

bird

birds

ceremonial objects

cord

Kwakiutl

leather

masks

nails

Northwest Coast Native American styles

paint

red cedar

The Elizabeth Cole Butler Collection

Description

Worn during the winter ceremonial dances that accompany a potlatch feast, this mask represents the prestigious inherited privilege of a high-ranking individual. The layers of commercial paint reveal that this mask was repainted at a later date, perhaps to refurbish it when passed to a new owner, a hamat’sa society initiate dancer. Masks such as this one are still carved and worn in dances by Kwakwaka’wakw artists and inheritors of this privilege.

Ironically, at the time of its creation, First Nations’ ceremonial practices, including the dancing and display of this headdress, were illegal under Canadian law.

The artists working during those arduous years of forced assimilation and oppression are celebrated for carrying on traditions that continue in practice today.

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