Gwa'wina or raven mask, lacks colouration, roughly carved and right eye unfinished, natural cedar
View Interactive Version

« Back to Collection



Catalogue Information


Owned by Arthur Bondsound until its forced surrender to Indian Agent William Halliday on March 25, 1922. Halliday later displayed and photographed the seized pieces at the Parish Hall in Alert Bay. After doing an inventory, he crated the items in June, and at the end of September he shipped them to Edward Sapir at the National Museum of Man (now the Canadian Museum of History). They remained the property of the NMM until their repatriation by the U’mista and Nuyumbalees Cultural Societies in 1979.


Wood, Cedar; Metal, Iron


40.0 cm

Accession Number


Physical Description

Bird mask carved from two pieces of red cedar, comprising the head and lower jaw. The mask is unfinished, although the carving is almost completed. The eye on the left side is finished whereas the eye on the right side is only roughed out. The lower jaw is not hinged, but simply nailed shut with three nails at the corners. Two peep-holes have been carved in the lower jaw. Four holes have been bored in the side edges of the mask but there is no harness or other attachments. A few pencilled guide-lines remain on the left side, around the eye. The mask was never painted. Natural wood.