Kulus or down-covered bird, hooked bill painted green, orange-red trim, round mirror eyes, hinged jaw, numerous nail fragments evidence missing attachments
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Supernatural down-covered bird

This Kulus mask may be one of the oldest masks in the Potlatch Collection. Can you see how its overall shape is very expressive, but quite simple? This may be because it was made with pre-contact tools without metal blades. Most masks produced in the 20th Century use synthetic or man-made paints. This mask is decorated with natural pigments which offers us another clue to its age.


Yekutłikalas, Sam Charlie, Mamalilikala (Village Island)

Catalogue Information


Owned by Sam Charlie 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. In 1995 Sam Charlie's daughter, Mary Beans (nee Charlie) requested her father's regalia be transferred from Nuyumbalees to U'mista for display.


Wood, Cedar; Glass; Metal; Paint; Leather

Accession Number


Physical Description

Bird mask carved in wood with big, round mirror eyes, a short, downturned green beak with a movable lower jaw which is nailed and tied together. There are nails throughout the mask which were used to hold the feathers in place. Brown, green, orange-red.