- George Walkus, Kwakwaka'wakw, Canadian, about 1890 - about 1950
- Work Locations: British Columbia
- Active Dates: 1920s - 1930s
Currently on view
Object ID: 1948.229
wood, paint, cedar bark, and string
Native Arts acquisition fund
height: 21 in, 53.3400 cm; length: 51 in, 129.5400 cm
Native Arts-American Indian
George Walkus (Kwakwaka'wakw) [about 1890–about 1950], of Bundan Inlet on the mainland across the strait from Vancouver Island, Canada, about 1938; Willie Henderson (Kwakwaka'wakw); Mrs. Mungo Martin (Kwakwaka'wakw), Ft. Rupert, BC, Canada; Edward Malin, University of Colorado, Boulder, during or before 1948; Denver Art Museum, 1948.
George Walkus, Four-faced Hamat'sa Mask, about 1938. Wood, paint, cedar bark, and string; 21 x 51 in. (53.3 x 129.5 cm). Denver Art Museum Collection: Native Arts acquisition fund, 1948.229.
Wood carving is a highly developed art among Northwest Coast tribes, including the Kwakwaka’wakw. This mask represents a bird-monster called Galokwudzuwis, or “Crooked Beak,” and is worn by a member of the Hamat’sa Society. Above the “crooked beak” is the head of a crane, while two raven heads project from the back of the mask. Although the photograph shows the mask’s graceful lines and bold, traditional colors of red, white, and black, it doesn’t show the complex moving parts that are worked by pulling a series of strings to create sound and movement during the dance.
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