Mask portraying the spirit of the sea who protects seals

  • About

    • The Kwakiutl are one of some 20 diverse communities known collectively as the Kwakwaka’wakw, united by a common language. In Kwakwaka’wakw mythology, animal imagery may indicate a close family association, even common ancestry, which confers supernatural powers and special privileges.

      This ceremonial mask, with a killer whale at the top, was collected by George Hunt in 1897. It depicts Kumugwe or Chief of the Sea, an important figure in Kwakiutl mythology, the strongest power in the sea and the embodiment of great wealth.

      Show more
  • Exhibition Text

    • Mask portraying the spirit of the sea who protects seals. The figure at the top of the mask on the left is a killer whale

  • Collection Information

    • Catalog No: 16 / 2370 Field No: 4
      Culture: KWAKWAKA'WAKW
      Locale: BC, FORT RUPERT
      Country: CANADA
      Material: WOOD, METAL (IRON), CLOTH, RUBBER, PIGMENT, CORD, FEATHERS
      Dimensions: L:79 W:36.5 H:54 WITH CLOTH L:112 [in CM]
      Subject: KUMUGWE' (CHIEF OF THE SEA)
      Acquisition Year: 1897
      Donor: HUNT, GEORGE & BOAS, FRANZ, PROF.
      Collector: HUNT AND BOAS?

      See this object in the Anthropology Collections Database