Belt in the shape of a snake in two parts, with two heads, striped cloth band, carved wooden heads, tied with cords
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Snakes - Wild-Man of the Woods Costume

The Bak´was performer holds his forearm up to hide his masked face from observers. This particular costume includes carved gloves on hands, lizards down the arm, the Sisiyutł as a belt, frogs on the kneecaps, snakes down the legs. The Bak´was mask to the left completes this costume.


Xi’xa’niyus, Bob Harris (attributed)

Catalogue Information


Cloth, Cotton; Wood, Red Cedar; String; Paint; Wood, Chips


98.5 cm

Accession Number

02.05.015 a&b

Physical Description

Serpents for the Bak´was or Wild Man of the Woods costume that were probably tied onto the arms of the dancer. The serpent heads are carved out of red cedar. The bodies are made of cotton stuffed with cedar shavings. The two serpent heads and bodies are similar in shape, but their decoration differs. The colors are the same (black, green, red). Lips are painted red, eye sockets are green and the V-shaped eyebrows are black. The eyes are all metal pieces. The green of the left-hand snake tapers to the back of the head. The cheeks below show a pattern of black dashes. The top of the head has a green triangle between the eyebrows. From this triangle start two red lines enclosing a green line that taper to the end of the tail. The sides and the bottom of the tail are ornamented with staked vertical crescents, delineated with two black horizontal lines. From the temple start two thicker, green horizontal lines that taper to the end of the tail. The serpent to the right presents horizontal hatching on the back of the face. The top shows two thin black triangles enclosing a thin red triangle, all turning into horizontal lines that taper to the end of the tail. Strings are nailed or tied to the neck and tail. White, black, red, green.