View of north side of the Potlatch Gallery, ceremonial regalia mounted along the wall to the right of the viewer. Image shows a section of the north side of the Potlatch Gallery in which a speaker’s staff, a dzunakwa mask, four mourning masks and two copper shields are displayed. Image of a corner of the Potlatch Gallery close to the entrance View of the entrance wall at the east end of the Potlatch Gallery.

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K´wasanuma - Mourning Mask

Still photograph of Kwasanuma- Mourning Mask against black background

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)