Dzunukwa Dzunukwa
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Dzunukwa Dzunukwa


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The most important right of the Dzunuk’wa, is when Kwakwaka’wakw Chiefs wear a special form of this creature. At the end of required potlatch obligations to complete a hereditary Chief’s role, the Chief will put on the family’s crest representing a male Dzunuk’wa mask called Gi’kaml. This mask characterized not by the foolish face with half closed eyes, but a strong and noble face with eyes partially opened. These masks usually include a mustache, eyebrows and locks of human hair, and are very carefully carved, representing family title and hereditary nobility. It is with this mask that hereditary Chiefs donned the Gi’kaml and carried out the intense ceremony of “Copper-Breaking”. As this highly respected and feared creature, Chiefs carried out the ceremony of cutting copper; they usually used a ceremonial knife that is carved also bearing the head of Dzunuk’wa

Artwork Information

Location Canada
Region British Columbia
Artist Calvin Hunt
NWC Nation Kwakwaka’wakw
Date Created July 2018
Dimensions 24" x 16" x 13"
Materials & Edition red cedar, horse hair, horse hide, acrylic paint

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