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Ga̱la - Stan Wamis

Ga̱la - Stan Wamis

Ga̱la or Grizzly Bear

There are two levels of this society, the Grizzly Bear of Baxbakwalanuksiwe’ and ordinary Grizzly Bear. The first is higher in rank. At the time of their initiation they are hidden in a corner of the house where they will emerge from, when they are ready to show they have been initiated. They are the most dreaded of the helpers of the Hamat̕sa, with their duty along with the Nuła̱mała, to punish all offenders of the laws pertaining to the Hamat̕sa and the Winter Ceremonials. The penalty for some mistakes was death. The dancers always wear bear’s claws on their hands and sometimes a full bearskin costume. Their faces are painted imitating the immense mouth of a bear. Their head and neck rings are made of red and white cedar bark twisted like tight rope. The dance consists of violent motions of the body, imitating the actions of a bear. The dancer will growl and scratch the ground with his paws.

Outstanding knive finishing and cuts on this Ga̱la (Grizzly Bear) mask. Mask made from red cedar and bear fur, by Stan Wamis. More pictures


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