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Inside Wawadiťła

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Kwakwaka’wakw Dance Screen, 1977

Carver: Richard Hunt
Based on: Kwakwaka’wakw Dance Screen
At the rear of the house, directly across from the entrance, is a dance screen that separates the dancers' dressing area from the floor of the house. This is a version of an earlier screen made for Mungo Martin by another well-known Kwakwaka'wakw carver and painter, Willie Seaweed (ca 1873-1967). The screen was painted by Richard Hunt while he was employed in the Carving Program of the Royal BC Museum. 
RBCM 17737.

Log Drum, 2003

Carver: David Knox and Mervyn Child
A log drum in the form of a Whale sits in front of the screen. During ceremonies, groups of singers sit on either side of the drum and beat the rhythm of the songs with wooden batons. An earlier drum was carved for Wawadiťła by Richard Hunt. This version is by Mungo Martin’s great grandson, David Knox, and Mervyn Child, who descends from the Hunt family. Their work in Wawadiťła testifies to the continuing relevance of Mungo Martin's artistic legacy.
RBCM 17740 a-c.

Mike Scott Photograph, RBCM Img0186a

A human-like figure is flanked by shield-like copper plaques (Coppers), a form of wealth on the Northwest Coast. 

Whale, the body of which forms the drum.

Houseposts, Rear of House

Mike Scott Photograph, RBCM Img0191

Huxwhukw, a companion of the cannibal Baxwbakwalanuxwsiwe', the supernatural spirit associated with the prestigious Hamatsa winter dance ceremony. It is the main crest of the Gixsam lineage of the Kwagu’ł. The birds’ beaks are hinged and can be made to open and shut.

Grizzly Bear, a crest of the Wa'walibui lineage.

Houseposts, Front of House

Mike Scott Photograph,
RBCM Img0194

Dzunukwa, a mythical wild woman who lives in the forest and is feared because she steals children. She is a sleepy, slow-moving giantess whose round mouth and protruding lips indicate her characteristic cry: ‘Hu, Hu, Hu’. This is a crest of the Kwikwasutinuxw people of Gilford Island. 

Grizzly Bear, a crest of the Wa'walibui lineage. 


Mike Scott Photograph, RBCM Img0192
Mike Scott Photograph, RBCM Img0192a
Mike Scott Photograph, RBCM Img0193
Sisiyutł, a supernatural double-headed serpent. This powerful being, the blood of which can turn people to stone, is a
‘Namgis crest. The Sisiyutł image on the entrance wall was acquired in 1913 by Charles F. Newcombe either at the ławiťsis village of Kalugwis on Tournour Island or at the ‘Namgis community of ‘Yalis (Alert Bay).
In 1941, it was attached to the façade of a building in Thunderbird Park where canoes were displayed. The Sisiyutł carvings on the side walls were painted for the house in 1960 by Mungo Martin and Henry Hunt.

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