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Huxwhukwamł (Mask of the Huxwhukw)

Kwakwaka%27wakw%20artist%2C%20%3Cb%3E%3Ci%3E%20Huxwhukwam%26%23322%3B%20%28Mask%20of%20the%20Huxwhukw%29%3C%2Fi%3E%3C%2Fb%3E%2C%20ca.%201940%2C%20red%20cedar%2C%20paint%2C%20feathers%2C%20raffia%2C%20and%20dye%2C%20The%20Elizabeth%20Cole%20Butler%20Collection%2C%20no%20known%20copyright%20restrictions%2C%2089.52.2
Kwakwaka'wakw artist, Huxwhukwamł (Mask of the Huxwhukw), ca. 1940, red cedar, paint, feathers, raffia, and dye, The Elizabeth Cole Butler Collection, no known copyright restrictions, 89.52.2

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Details
Title

Huxwhukwamł (Mask of the Huxwhukw)

Artist

Kwakwaka'wakw artist (Kwakwaka'wakw)

Date

ca. 1940

Medium

red cedar, paint, feathers, raffia, and dye

Dimensions (H x W x D)

length: 48 in

Collection Area

Native American Art

Category

Northwest Coast

Ceremonial and Ritual Objects

Object Type

mask

Cultural Group

Kwakwaka'wakw

Credit Line

The Elizabeth Cole Butler Collection

Accession Number

89.52.2

Copyright

no known copyright restrictions

Terms

ceremonial objects

dye

feather

Kwakiutl

masks

Northwest Coast Native American styles

paint

raffia

ravens

red cedar

The Elizabeth Cole Butler Collection

Description

The huxwhukw, or mythical Raven, represents one of the supernatural associates of Baxwbakwalanuksiwe’, the cannibal spirit, which appears in the form of birdlike masks in the tseyka, or red cedar-bark ceremony. These masks are commissioned as part of the inherited privilege of being a hamat’sa society initiate. The masks and the dances in which they are worn pacify and tame the hamat’sa, who personifies the cannibal spirit and the insatiable nature of life, and who ultimately exhibits the honored behavior of a high-ranking person. The articulated beaks clap dramatically during a performance, accompanied by the dancers’ characteristic cries.

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