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Virtual Musem of Canada
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'seka Creature Masks
Gikaml - Chief's Dzunuk'wa Mask
Kukwadisilagaml - Listener Mask
Bakwasaml - Wild Man Mask
Dalalagaml - Laugher Mask
Dzunukwaml - Wild Woman Mask
'Nala - Weather
Huxwhukw - Long Beak Cannibal Bird
Galukwaml - Crooked Beak Cannibal Bird
Nulamalagaml - Fool Dancer Mask
Sisiyutl - Sea Serpent

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Gikaml - Chief's Dzunuk'wa Mask
The Gikam or Chief's Dzunuwa is a powerful protector of established Chiefs. She, like the Chief's family, represents wealth.

Gikam is not danced at a potlatch; instead it is displayed at the beginning or end of a potlatch to signify greatness. Young Chiefs cannot use the Gikam, in fact, a Chief must be quite established in potlatch ranking and have given at least four potlatches in order to display it.

Dance and Regalia:
The late Chief Thomas Hunt of the Kwagu' stated that when using the Gikam, the Chief first holds it at his shoulder, then rests it on his forehead with his face still revealed, and finally drops it to cover his face at which time he cries "uhuu." This is meant to indicate that the Dzunuwa is a powerful protector and that both she and the chief's family represent wealth.

The Gikam usually utilizes greater precision and detail in carving. Black hair, human in older versions, is set around the top of the mask, and eyebrows, a moustache and goatee are also represented. Hair on the mask is also represented by the use of the hair from a horse, cow or bear to distinguish the Gikam from the Dzunuwa.

Mask's Story:
This mask was taken from Amos Dawson of the Mamalilikala by the Department of Indian Affairs during the Potlatch trials in 1922. It was returned to the U'mista Cultural Centre in 1979.
Gikaml - Chief's Dzunuk'wa Mask (large version)
 
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