K´wasanuma - Mourning Mask
Today, potlatches begin with mourning songs, but, people no longer wear mourning masks. Historically, families who had lost someone wore mourning masks and sang the songs that belonged to the person who had passed away. Professional mourners were traditionally women and it is unusual that these four masks are male mourners. The red streaks might represent the scratching of the face to express grief or may be a symbol of their tears.
Owner: Kwaxalanukwame’, Johnny Drabble, Dzawada’enuxw (Kingcome Inlet)