Nulamala mask by late Tony Hunt Jr.

Nulamala mask by late Tony Hunt Jr.

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Nulamala Mask by our late friend Tony Hunt Jr. from the Kwakwakaw' wakw First Nation

Truly a remarkable piece, showing highest quality craftsmanship, superb and accurate expression of the Nulamala, with the grinn and the nose - just fabulous!! Beautiful cedar wood, hand painted in the traditional way, reddish horse hair used as the hair - just adding to the expression of madness in this piece of true Indigenous Art. 

Measurements: 16" tall, 9" wide, 13" deep, total height incl. hair: 22"

It has a small natural, shallow and non threatening crack or "hairline" as it's called, on the lower face on the left, have a close look. 

The Nułamała “Fool Dancer” are messengers and assistants to the Hamat̕sa and help enforce the laws of the Winter Ceremonies. Membership in the Nułamała Society is hereditary. The Nułamała along with the Grizzly Bear dancers cut and distribute food to make sure that the Hamat̕sa are fed properly. Both societies are the “policemen of the T̕seka Winter Ceremonies”. The Nułamała will attack people by throwing stones, hitting with sticks and even stabbing and killing with lances and war axes.

According to the Kwagu’ł “Fort Rupert Tribe”: Nułamała dancers are initiated by a supernatural people who are called Atłasamx that live on an island floating on a lake inland from Dłaxsiwa’yi. They have enormous noses and their bodies are filthy.

The Nułamała when he performs does not dance, but when excited, runs about like madman, throwing stones, knocking people down and making his cry, which is “Wi! Wi! Wi!”. They turn right instead of left and make their circuit around the fire in the opposite direction of other Winter Ceremonies. 

The distinguishing feature of most Nułamała masks is an exaggerated nose. They usually have long eyebrows that slant upwards towards the center and droop down to the sides. They have wide mouths that display a foolish grin. Nułamała dancers are very sensitive about their noses and if someone touches or plays with their nose in front of them, they will become very excited and might chase that person in anger for impersonating their habits. In Potlatch ceremonies today, the Nułamała wears a mask and may use a grey blanket that conceals a pocket that hides pieces of green seaweed which is thrown at the guests and sometimes wiped on certain people. The Nułamała is an ancient dance and is one of the first Winter Ceremonies that the Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw had ever performed. 

Photos of This Piece

$3,260.00 CDN

$2,494.88 USD

About This Artist

Tony Hunt (1961 - 2017) was born into a wealth of tradition. His great-grandfather, Mungo Martin has been credited with much of the revitalization of the Kwakwaka'wakw culture in the latter half of this century. His late grandfather, Henry Hunt...Artist bio and other available works »

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