Kwagu’ł ceremonial curtain

unknown, but before 1955
RBCM 20095
Mungo Martin

Mungo Martin’s huge painted ceremonial curtain, proclaiming the lineage of Chief Nakaṕankam, was used in many potlatches. It also appeared in a 1955 Victoria Day parade, for which event the same design was painted on the back so it could be seen by people on both sides of the parade route. The figure in a circular motif flanked by two Thunderbirds represents Baxwbakwalanuxwsiwe’, the cannibal spirit, a motif associated with the prestigious hamaťsa ceremony. The curtain hung behind the carved Killer-whale coffin of Mungo Martin, Chief Nakaṕankam, when he lay in state in August 1962 in Wawadit́ła, the traditional-style Kwakwaka’wakw bighouse that he built in 1953 in the Royal BC Museum’s Thunderbird Park. The museum purchased this curtain in 2005.

This image may require permission from the copyright holder before a print can be supplied

This object selected by Dr Martha Black.