hiłiwe' (Mask)

About this object

History of use

Worn by female attendant, hiligaxste', in taming the Hamats!a dancer. See Boas, 1895, p. 444

Cultural context


Iconographic meaning

Represents Raven at the north end of the world, Gwaxgwaxwalanuxsiwe', one of the servants of cannibal at the north end of the world.

Physical description

Carved, wooden, raven mask with a long beak and oval shaped, cutout nostrils. The beak is hinged with pieces of leather on either side, nailed to the jaw. The beak and nostrils are painted black with red edging. There is a red stylized split U-form around the nostrils. The eyes are white, outlined in black on a white, ovoid shaped background; brow is black. Attached to the top of the head are short strips of cedar bark creating a fringe. Attached with twine to the top, back and bottom rim are small bunches of cedar. The inside of the mask is hollow with the exception of an attached twine cord that assistants the beak in opening and shutting. The mask is painted black, red and white with Northwest Coast stylized designs.