Children of the Land
The Kwakwaka’wakw believe there are giants called Dzunuk´wa and little people called Gangananamis that live in the forests. This mask is believed to represent these mischievous elf-like creatures who bring good fortune to those who see them.
Hiłamas, Ned Alvin Innis, ’Namgis (Alert Bay)
Wood, Cedar; Paint; Fibre, Cotton; Metal, Iron
Carved face mask which appears to depict a Gangananamis which is a child-size supernatural being from the forest. The size and the shape of the face clearly represent a non-human character. The forehead is quite extended and the whole mask has been painted with a green tinge, particularly in the ears, a color quality attributed to the "Little People". Also the pointed shape of the ears is a characteristic given around the world for elves. The bulging eyes are very non-human, carved without eyelids, as are most humanoid masks of the Kwakwaka’wakw. The painted black beard is the only attribute allowing the speculation that it is a Whiteman mask, however the whitewashing and other human qualities are lacking. The nostrils, eyebrows and irises are painted black.