wadisila or Listener is from A
im and is a legend about a young boy who was shamed by his father and went into the woods to commit suicide. He decided to seek supernatural power instead of killing himself. On his journey he met many individuals who taught him a great deal about life.
After learning his lessons, the boy returned to his
village with the supernatural powers of the A
and to this day his story is re-enacted during the
Dance of the Forest Spirits.
im privileges were acquired by a young boy, “wa„waba'las, who
was shamed by his father and went into the woods to
commit suicide. However, in the woods, he changed
his mind and decided to obtain a magic treasure and
to seek supernatural powers. It was Grouse, Chief
of the Forest Spirits, who led “wa„waba'las on a supernatural
journey through the woods and who introduced the boy
to the creatures of the forest. The forty masks and
songs of the A
im series include
such imaginative characters as Stump of the Woods,
One Side Moss in the Woods, Woman Giving Birth, Thrush,
Walking Behind the Mountain Woman and the K
From Sleeper, “wa„waba'las learned the power of dreams;
from Salmon, how to survive; and from Laugher or Woman
of the Woods, a gentler side of being human. These
masks were a gift to “wa„waba'las in which he gained
an understanding of nature and the sacredness of life.
When he returned to his village, he was a new man,
powerful with the understanding of birth and death.
When “wa„waba'las first entered the Supernatural house,
wadisila was one of the first to
greet him as he sought supernatural powers.
Dance and Regalia:
im or Dance of the Forest Spirits has its origins among
the Awi„inuxw of Rivers Inlet. It is a complex narrative
dance involving as many as forty different characters.
im is a re-enactment of a series
of magical events that took place in a forest long
ago that led to the mending of a rift between a father
and son. K
wadisila imitates the actions
of the other dancers.
This mask was originally owned by Sam Charlie. Following the surrender of the
potlatch regalia this mask was sent to the National
Museum of Man, now the Canadian Museum of Civilization
and was returned to the U'mista Cultural Centre in