A Nan or bear mask with long black muzzle, red paint lips and snout, two rows of teeth, leather drape at back
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Iwakalas, Harry Hanuse, Mamalilikala (Village Island)

Catalogue Information


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; Hide; Fibre, Linen, Cotton


31.0 cm x 20.5 cm x 75.0 cm

Accession Number


Physical Description

Bear headdress made from wood, animal skin, fabric and cord, and painted black, green, red and white.

The mask has a peculiar eyesocket shaped as an elongated ovoid angular at the temples, with slightly arched eyebrows. The long muzzle is painted black with a red snout. It has upright ears simply decorated with a black outline. The inside of the ear is red. The top of the mask is covered with what may have been bear skin that also conceals the wearer's shoulders. The mask has an articulated lower jaw which when manipulated shows two rows of teeth made of white painted cardboard. (Mauzé manuscript c.1998)