Nuxalk mask

Date:
unknown, but before 1913
Record:
RBCM 2313

The bulbous forms of this powerful mask are distinctively Nuxalk. The mask represents Thunder, and is constructed in three parts so that forehead, nose and jaw can move independently during the dance. Originally, it would have been encircled by twigs and alder-dyed cedar bark attached to the rim of the mask and sprinkled with eagle down. In the Nuxalk language, the name for a mask in the form of a Thunder figure is S7yulh. Charles F. Newcombe purchased the mask at Bella Coola in 1913. It is on display in the First Peoples gallery as a superb example of Nuxalk carving and the drama of Nuxalk ceremony.

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This object selected by Dr Martha Black.