Nuxalk

"NEW-hulk"

The Nuxalk people call themselves the Nuxalkmc. A century ago, anthropologists called them the Bella Coola. Traditional Nuxalk territory is the central coast of British Columbia, from the mouth of the Bella Coola River inland along the Bella Coola Valley and nearby inlets and channels.

Population: Approximately 1,660 (as of 2013)  Language: Nuxalk

 

IN NUXALK TERRITORY


 

 

 

FROM THE COLLECTIONS: Nuxalk sun mask

Check out more apps from the American Museum of Natural History
View larger

Sun mask

This mask features Senx, the sun—the heavenly creator of the Nuxalk people. In their tradition, Senx sent four supernatural carpenters to Earth to make humans and shape their world. These four are shown on the rim of this striking carving, which was “floated” in big house  ceremonies dramatizing the creation story. 

This mask is from Nuxalk territory on the central coast of British Columbia, Canada.

AMNH 16/1507, made about 1870


Check out more apps from the American Museum of Natural History
View larger

The Nuxalk nation depicts this sun mask on their national flag as a universal crest of all Nuxalkmc, or Nuxalk people. 

Image credit: Nuxalk Smayusta 


 

NUXALK VILLAGES


 

 

FROM THE COLLECTIONS: Nuxalk eagle headdress

Eagle headdress

This elaborate headdress not only has eagle carvings, but also eagle down—their fluffy underfeathers. Across the Northwest Coast, eagle down is a sign of peace, often sprinkled during welcome dances and other ceremonies of honor.

This headdress is from Nuxalk territory on the central coast of British Columbia, Canada.

AMNH 16/1900, acquired 1897


 

 

 

TERRITORY RECLAIMED


 

 

 

 

 

See the complete collection of Nuxalk objects in the Museum's Northwest Coast Hall.

 

 

Image credit for lead photo: M. Wigle