Ceremonial Dress of the Kwakiutl and Nootka Tribes of British Columbia | Retronaut

Ceremonial Dress of the Kwakiutl and Nootka Tribes of British Columbia | Retronaut.

Kwakiutl people, some bowing before totem poles in background, others seated facing front as part of the nunhlim ceremony, the four days prior to the Winter Dance


During the winter ceremony, Kwakiutl dancers wearing masks and costumes, crouch in foreground with others behind them. The chief on the far left holds a speaker’s staff

Ceremonial dancers in a circle during the Winter Dance ceremony

Kwakiutl man

Kwakiutl man wearing a mask depicting a loon on top of a man’s head to facilitate the loon changing into the form of a man

Kwakiutl man kneeling on one knee dressed in skins, hat and other garments

Hamatsa shaman possessed by supernatural power after having spent several days in the woods as part of an initiation ritual

Man, in costume with ceremonial mask, on hands and knees.

Sisiutl, one of the main dancers in the Winter Dance ceremonies, wearing a double-headed serpent mask and shirt made of hemlock boughs

Man dressed in a full-body bear costume. The bear had the duty of guarding the dance house

Woman wearing a fringed Chilkat blanket, a hamatsa neckring and mask representing deceased relative who had been a shaman

Dancer representing Paqusilahl (“man of the ground embodiment”), wearing a mask and shirt covered with hemlock boughs, representing paqus, a wild man of the woods

Dancer wearing raven mask with coat of cormorant skins during the numhlin ceremony

Koskimo as Hami (“dangerous thing”) during the numhlim ceremony

Person wearing ceremonial mask of the Nuhlimahla during the during the Winter Dance ceremony. These characters impersonated fools and were noted for their devotion to filth and disorder

Ceremonial mask worn by a dancer portraying the hunter in Bella Bella mythology who killed the giant man-eating octopus. The dance was performed during Tluwulahu, a four day ceremony prior to the Winter Dance

Kwakiutl wearing an oversize mask and hands representing a forest spirit, Nuhlimkilaka, (“bringer of confusion”)

Person wearing Mask of Tsunukwalahl, a mythical being, used during the Winter Dance

Kwakiutl person wearing mask of mythical creature Pgwis (man of the sea)

Ceremonial dancer during the Winter Dance ceremony

Source: Library of Congress
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