Mask

About this object

History of use

Used in the Bumblebee dance, which is a children's dance and is often one of the first dances a child participates in during the Winter Ceremonial among the Musgamagw Dzawada'enuxw.

Narrative

Used in potlatch by Alec Nelson, Kingcome Inlet, 1938 (Dick Hawkins, 1966).

Iconographic meaning

Represents a bumblebee. In the dance, a father and mother bee lead progressively smaller bees out onto the dance floor one by one. When the children are led back into their 'beehive' at the end of the dance one child is discovered to be missing. The father bee circles the floor four times searching for this lost child. On the fourth round the child is found hidden amongst the spectators and is led home.

Physical description

Small circular face with large bulbous eyes. Nose protrudes and is turned upwards. Colours used are yellow, green, red, black and white. One side has remnants of cedar bark. Rectangular piece of fibre cloth hangs from the back. Fibre cording is tied through holes at the back of the mask.