M. Wigle


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

Carved wooden mask with a face in the center and four smaller faces around the edge.
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
Eagle mask banner held aloft between two poles.
The Nuxalk nation depicts this sun mask on their national flag as a universal crest of all Nuxalkmc, or Nuxalk people. 
Nuxalk Smayusta 

Nuxalk Villages

From the Collections: Nuxalk eagle headdress

Ts’lkt | Eagle headdress When a Nuxalk man marries, his wife’s treasures—songs, dances, stories, family crests, and the rights they entail—are “dragged across” to her new home. In this way, designs and ideas may travel widely. This crown-like headdress resembles those worn to the north of Nuxalk lands. The design may have been brought by a high-ranking woman who married into a Nuxalk family.

AMNH Anthropology 16/1519

Territory Reclaimed