A Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwakiutl) grizzly bear costume

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Lot 73
A Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwakiutl) grizzly bear costume

Sold for US$ 15,075 inc. premium

Native American Art

31 Aug 2020, 11:00 PDT

Los Angeles

Property of Various Owners, lots 72-76
A Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwakiutl) grizzly bear costume
The brown canvas coverall suit with applied tufts of "fur" of raveled vegetal marine rope, the paws and feet terminating in carved wood claws; the denuded mask of carved wood and originally covered in fur, the hinged jaw with inset wood teeth, pierced nostrils and painted details, set with vertically articulated German glass marble eyes, minor areas of restoration.
costume as displayed: height 69 1/2in, width 29in; mask height 9in, length 16in;

Footnotes

  • See Hawthorn, Audrey, Art of the Kwakiutl Indians and Other Northwest Coast Tribes, 1967, University of Vancouver/University of Washington, Seattle, WA, for a discussion of Kwakwaka'wakw bear costumes:

    "The dancing societies of the Kwakiutl consisted of four main groups... The fourth group was made up of the Dluwalakha dancers (meaning "Once more from Heaven") - those who had been given supernatural treasures or dloogwi, which were passed on to the novice, but who were not, as a group, involved in the convincing and terrifying displays of supernatural seizure (as seen with the Hamatsa, Winalagilis and Atlakim dance societies)." Ibid, p.46

    "There were two grizzly bear characters among the Kwakiutl. The Hamatsa grizzly bear (Nanes Bakbakwalanooksiwae), one of the high-ranking characters of the Hamatsa series, had no mask but painted his face red to symbolize a voracious bear mouth and wore a costume of bearskin and long wooden claws... The Dluwalakha grizzly bear dancer wore not only a fur costume but also a mask. He was more of a comic buffoon, who was brought in during a lull in the proceedings and danced in a burly and comical way." Ibid, p.254
Contacts
A Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwakiutl) grizzly bear costume
A Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwakiutl) grizzly bear costume
A Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwakiutl) grizzly bear costume
A Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwakiutl) grizzly bear costume
A Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwakiutl) grizzly bear costume
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