Beau Dick (Kwakwaka’wakw)
Red cedar, acrylic, cedar bark, feathers
35” x 43” x 14” (89 x 109 x 36 cm)
The Kwakwaka’wakw Winter Dance ceremonies are extremely elaborate and can be subdivided into four categories or societies. The most elaborate and respected is the Hamatsa Society and the Hamatsa dances often continue for several days.
The creatures of the Hamatsa Society are mythological cannibal birds, animals and beings, who live in great houses in the sky. They are under the control of Bakbakwalanooksiwae, a powerful man-eating spirit. He is the Ruler of the Sky World, and included in his list of servants are:
Hamatsa Raven (Kwakwakwalanooksiwae)
Crooked Beak (Gakokwudzuwis) and Hokhokw.
Along with the other servants, they descend to Earth to devour humans.