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This information was automatically generated from data provided by MOA: University of British Columbia. It has been standardized to aid in finding and grouping information within the RRN. Accuracy and meaning should be verified from the Data Source tab.


Wooden wolf headdress, or mask, in two cedar pieces joined lengthwise by nails. Hollowed out. Skull area slopes slightly to form muzzle, ending in red nose with hollowed out nostrils angled slightly upward and outward. In relief, long, straight, thick, black brows over recessed green ovoids surrounding white and black eyes. Mouth, length of muzzle to directly under eye socket, is all teeth, marked off by red grooves and red lips. Rest of mask in black and some red. Cloth bits attached to nail heads circling skull. Top of head left with roughened holes where ears once were. Whitened marks cover paint which is faded in some areas. Short length of cord is knotted on interior through two pierced holes.

History Of Use

Masks of this type worn on forehead in the Walasaxa'akw ritual, a group dance in which wolf masks and blankets were worn. Wolf appeared as ancestral myth figure. Similar dance is dlugwala, 'having supernatural power'. From back hung either a cloth or fur drape, sometimes an entire wolf skin or cedar bark. Mask attached to head by either framework helmet made of twigs, or, for long muzzles, a stick brace at back that anchored across chest or waist. This wolf mask was worn by a woman.

Cultural Context


Iconographic Meaning

Muzzle with angled nose, prominent, pointed incisors as part of bared teeth, and ears, now missing identify animal as a wolf, the expert hunter. Always expressions of intensity in masks. Xisiwe' means 'teeth on the forehead'.
Myths tell of the Village of the Warrior Wolves.

Item History

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