Mask

About this object

History of use

Worn by hamats!a dancer.

Iconographic meaning

Represents Raven at the North End of the World, Gwaxgwaxwalanuxsiwe', one of the servants of Baxwbakwalanuxsiwe', cannibal at the north end of the world.

Physical description

Large, carved, wooden, raven hamatsa mask with a long beak and ovoid shaped cutout nostrils. The beak is hinged with pieces of leather nailed to either side. The beak is painted black with a red mouth and nose. At the back of the mouth is a U-form. Along the back of the nose to the back of the mouth are red split U-forms outlined in white. The eyes are white, outlined in black, surrounded by red on a white, ovoid shaped background; brow is black. The inside of the mask is hollow with the exception of twine used to open and close the beak along with a fibre head ring. The top and side edges of the mask are lined with braided cedar. The top has short pieces of cedar creating a fringe, while the back has longer strips that hang over the wearer. Intertwined in the cedar are pieces of eagle down. The mask is painted black, red, and white with Northwest Coast stylized designs.