Kwigwis Mask

Kwigwis or Sea Eagle
Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation “UCC-80.01.154 – In Kwakwaka’wakw mythology, there are four realms, the sky, land, sea, and the underworld. In our culture the animals we see in our world have counterparts in the undersea. Whereas the land animals and birds have feathers and fur, their counterparts from the ocean bare fins and scales like that of fish and other attributes of sea creatures. The Kwigwis often has fish like scales replacing feathers, fins and a fish tail instead of the usual, eagle type. The artist would also incorporate fish-like faces to add to the ocean theme of this supernatural creature. Kwigwis can appear in both the T’seka and D’uwalaxa ceremonies”. Often these type of supernatural creatures appeared to certain ancestors who were blessed by the supernatural experience. To record the event, the ancestor would reenact through dance, and get a song composed to commemorate the encounter, becoming a part of the family’s history and treasures.

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Indigenous Dance