Tla-o-qui-aht mask

unknown, but before 1935
RBCM 18273
attributed to Atlieu

This mask, thought to be by a carver named Atlieu, is part of the ḥuupuKwanum of the Sitakanim family from the village of Opitsaht in Clayoquot Sound. (HuupuKwanum is a Nuu-chah-nulth word that designates everything a chief owns, including hereditary names and songs, objects, dances, rights and privileges, lands and resources.) The mask represents a white man. One of the stories that it portrays concerns a white man who visited a Tla-o-qui-aht chief. When shown the extent of the chief’s territories, the visitor’s eyes snapped open in amazement at the chief’s wealth. The mask was collected in 1935 and purchased by the Royal BC Museum in 1986. The rights to use the mask remain with the Sitakanim family, who dance with a newer version of this mask in ceremonies today.

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

This object selected by Dr Martha Black.