The Kwak´wala word for wolf headdress, xisiwe’ means, “bared teeth on the forehead.” Wolf dancers perform solo or in a pack with a leader, imitating a real wolf pack. In ceremonies, wolves can appear in three different ways; as a member of the tribe of the myth people, an ancestor of one of the ‘namima or extended family groups, or as a being who initiates apprentices.
Iwakalas, Harry Hanuse, Mamalilikala (Village Island)
Owned by Harry Hanuse 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 some of them to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, on long-term loan from the National Museum of Man (now the Canadian Museum of History). They remained in the possession of the ROM until the NMM pulled its loan and returned the pieces to the Nuyumbalees and U'mista cultural societies in 1988. In September 1993 Dan Hanuse Sr. requested that his father's pieces be transferred from Nuyumbalees to U'mista as per the wishes of the majority of Harry Hanuse's descendants.
Wood, Cedar; Paint; Metal; Fibre, Cotton
13.5 cm x 19.5 cm x 49.5 cm
Wolf headdress carved in two pieces, and joined by nailing. One is in between the top and bottom incisors, the other higher up along the bridge of the wolf's snout. The eye socket is black with evidence of blue underneath. The nares, nostrils and in between the teeth are vermillion. The remainder is painted white except the cheek which is natural wood. White dashes are painted on top in three rows. Temples are left unpainted. The white cloth currently in place only partially covers the back. Black, red, white, blue.