Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw Indians of Vancouver Island

Part of Northwest Coast Hall.


The domestic life of the Kwakwaka’wakw illustrates the importance of wood and bark in the everyday life of the Kwakwaka’wakw. On the right, a man is cooking food by dropping hot stones into a watertight cooking vessel. The second man is painting a box which might used for storing clothes and household utensils.

One of the women is shredding cedarbark against the edge of a paddle. The bark will then be made into mats, bags, baskets, and ropes. Another woman is weaving a mat of cedarbark, a third is curing fish, the major food of the Kwakwaka’wakw, over a fire. All of the figures wear robes of cedarbark.

The elongated heads of some of the figures result from artificial shaping in infancy.