A bird mask, possibly a crane but with profile shape of raven, pale green bill, dark green patch around eyes with cloth head cover
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Bird mask

Bird Headdress

We do not know about the specific ceremony where this headdress would have been worn. Because this mask does not have any red cedar bark it may be used in both ceremonies of the T´seka Sacred Red Cedar Bark Dances or Tła’sala Peace Dances.


Iwakalas, Harry Hanuse, Mamalilikala (Village Island)


Xi’xa’niyus, Bob Harris

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; Paint; Fibre, Linen, Cotton; Metal

Accession Number


Physical Description

Bird headdress (possibly a crane or a raven), carved in wood and painted black, red, white and three shades of green. The underside of the beak has painted cloth.

Observed at a profile angle, this bird headdress suggests a raven head, although it has a fairly wide flat beak. The beak is painted light green. The black eyebrows form a V shape over shallowly-carved ovoid eye sockets painted dark green which run over the bridge of the bird's bill; they are underlined by a thin line of white paint. The top of the mask is covered with a piece of thin cloth that conceals the head support made of twigs. This back cover is very fragile, but the head support visor mount is intact and tied with string. The nostrils carved in a S shape, and the lips are red; the temples bear decorative grey and black designs. The carved beak is covered by muslin material decorated with thin and solid U shapes that intend to represent feathers. Black, red, white, green.