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The Story of the Masks
Introductions The Potlatch The Masks Site Index
Click to see the T'seka Animal Masks Click to see the T'seka Mythical Creature Masks Click to see the T'lasala Animal Masks Click to see the T'lasala Mythical Creature Masks
T'lasala Animal Masks
Kwikw - Eagle
Maxinux - Whale
Hiliwe' - Raven & Ermine

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Max'inux - Eagle
Max'inux are abundant in the waters off the North Eastern tip of Vancouver Island - the home of the Kwakwaka'wakw. The home of the Max'inux is, according to 'Na„waxda'xw legend at the outer side of the world. He has two canoes, "One-Tide-Canoe" and "One-Day-Canoe". One-Tide-Canoe only requires one tide to travel to Knight Inlet and back. One-Day-Canoe takes only one day to travel to the Skeena River and back.

Once the Chief of the Ancients tried to steal Max'inux 's daughter, but the dolphins help to return her to her father.

Dance and Regalia:
The dancer wears the whale headdress on his back, bending his torso horizontally at the hips. He moves around the floor of the Big House in an undulating motion, diving and surfacing.

The lower jaw, pectoral fins and fluked tail on this mask are designed to move so that the dancer can move them realistically when the whale "surfaces". Sometimes the dancer will blow eagle down through a tube connected to the blowhole; so it shoots up like the spray exhaled when a whale surfaces.

Mask's Story:
Because of details in the painted design, it is believed that Mungo Martin painted this mask. It is not known for sure however, who actually carved it. This mask was taken from Alex Corrie by the Department of Indian Affairs during the Potlatch Trials of 1922. It was returned to the U'mista Cultural Centre in 1979 by the Canadian Museum of Civilization with a group of other masks and regalia.
Max'inux - Whale (large version)
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Watch Emma Tamlin talk about Max'inux.
Watch Emma Tamlin talk about Max'inux (select player below).

The clip is 1:28 long.
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