Ross Henderson Hamat'sa Masks

By Alex Dawkins
Posted in News, on May 31, 2016

The Kwakwaka’wakw culture, based in the north of Vancouver Island and on the mainland of southwest British Columbia, traditionally divides its year into ceremonial months and non-ceremonial months. The Tsetseka, or ceremonial season, begins in the late autumn and is marked by feasting and the activation of ancient dancing societies. While there are numerous representational spirits and creatures involved in this dancing societies, the primary figures are those of birds who inhabit the Sky-World and interact with human life below. These birds are guided by the spirit Baxbaxwalanuksiwe and include the Cannibal (or Hamat’sa) Raven, the Hokhokw, and the Crooked Beak. These figures are synonymous with Kwakwaka’wakw culture.

Hamatsa Masks

We have been working with Ross Henderson for over five years, and he recently created a set of miniature Hamat’sa masks for us. Ranging in price from $1,800.00 to $2,400.00 CAD, these detailed masks are mounted on cedar stands and are embellished with cedar bark ornamentation.