Atłakima or Forest Spirits Mask, white- washed cedar, rounded face shape with cedar bark hair and cotton back, dark prominent moustache and eyebrows
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Forest Spirit Mask

The dance of the Forest Spirits can include up to 40 masked dancers. This dance tells the story of a boy who runs away from his abusive father to kill himself. In the forest, he meets a supernatural mouse who takes him to another realm where he meets the Forest Spirits. He returns to his village and shares the stories and dances of the Forest Spirits with his people.

Catalogue Information


Owned by Harry Mountain 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.


Wood, Red Cedar; Bark, Cedar; Raffia; Fabric, Cotton; Rope, Cotton; Metal, Nails


30.5 cm x 23.5 cm x 15.0 cm

Accession Number


Physical Description

Atłak´ima mask probably representing Hamasi’no, a Cannibal. Red paint, like blood, appears to have come from the mouth originally. It is part of Harry Mountain's At´łak´amł.

This mask is unidentified. As the majority of the Atłak´ima beings are male and similar in form, it is difficult to identify the characters. (WWII)