Alan Hunt (Kwakwaka’wakw)
Red cedar, acrylic, cedar bark, feathers
74” x 67” x 15 (188 x 170 x 38cm)
According to Kwakwaka’wakw mythology, Four Pakala (witches) were hired to obtain the necessary ingredients to kill Gitsalis, the chief. The Pakala were very efficient as Gitsalis’ health began to fail rapidly. The villagers decided to take the nearly-deceased chief to a resting place close by. A cave at Anchorage Cove was chosen and they left Gitsalis with a little water and food and laid him to rest in peace.
Once in the Supernatural world, Gitsalis was treated like a high-ranking chief. Gifts of food and regalia were constantly flowing. Despite his wealth and power, Gitsalis was unhappy and missed his family. He eventually returned to his village, magically teleporting from one spot to another wearing the great Supernatural Mugamtl (Moogums) mask. He had become wild during his time in the spirit world and had to be tamed with the ritual of the Red Cedar Bark ceremony before he could again take his place among his family.