Huu-ay-aht welcome figures

Date:
unknown, but before 1900
Record:
RBCM 2102 (female figure), RBCM 2103 (male figure)

These figures connect past and present, the communities of Kiixʔin and Victoria, Huu-ay-aht people and their ancestors, the natural and the supernatural worlds. They came from Kiixʔin village, a Huu-ay-aht community on the southeast shore of Barkley Sound that is now a National Historic Site. They were erected facing the beach in front of an important chief’s house to welcome guests to two potlatches given for the Makah people from Neah Bay before 1900. The female figure represents Ho-miniki, a woman who originated in the moon and married a Huu-ay-aht ancestor named Shewish. The male figure is Nutchkoa, the first man, who possessed supernatural powers. Charles F. Newcombe purchased the figures for the Royal BC Museum in 1911. Under the terms of the Maa-nulth treaty (2011), the museum will transfer selected Huu-ay-aht cultural material to the Huu-ay-aht First Nations. By agreement with the Huu-ay-aht First Nations, these figures will remain at the Royal BC Museum, where they welcome visitors. New versions stand before the House of Huu-ay-aht at Anacla, welcoming visitors arriving at Pachena Bay by canoe.

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This object selected by Dr Martha Black.