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Gallery of the Hamatsa Ceremony


FOREST
KWAKIUTL SHAMAN
KOMINAKA DANCER, CURTIS, c. 1912.
HAMATSA DANCER, CURTIS, 1914.
 

FROM OUT OF THE FOREST

  Initiates to the Hamatsa Society were taken into the forests, whence they returned fully possessed by Cannibal Woman.

 

 

 

 

 

There were evidently two ways in which to become an initiate. (1) A person could be diagnosed by a shaman as being in the early stages of possession by Cannibal Woman. (2) The initiate could inherit his position in the Hamatsa Society. In either case, a prolonged trip into the woods was in order.

 

 

 

The Hamatsa Spciety were evidently hiding other things in the woods, if we are to believe Curtis. This is a "Kominaka dancer" in a staged photograph by Curtis. The square hat and the cedar bark ring are hallmarks of the Hamatsa Society; the feathers, however, are unusual.

 

 

 

 

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GREAT HOUSE IN FORT RUPERT, 1881.
HOUSE REPRODUCTION, BCPM
MODERN GREAT HOUSE AT ALERT BAY
TLINGIT WHALE HOUSE.
WHALE HOUSE INTERIOR, ca. 1895
WHALE HOUSE VISUALIZATION
 

THE GREAT HOUSE

 

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HAMATSA SOCIETY MEMBER.
GRIZZLY BEAR MASK, KWAKIUTL, FIELD MUSEUM, ca 1880-1900
GRIZZLY BEAR MASK, KWAKIUTL
HAMATSA INITIATE GARB AFTER FIRST ROUND OF DANCING.
 

THE DANCE ENVIRONMENT

 

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VISUALIZATION OF HAMATSA DANCERS IN KWAKIUTL GREAT HOUSE
FRANZ BOAS ILLUSTRATING CORRECT DANCE POSTURE.
 

 

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THE HILIGAXSTE' DRAWS OUT THE HAMATSA INITIATE.
CANNIBAL WOMAN GATHERING CHILDREN, BY NOREEN HUNT
COPPER, HAIDA, COLLECTED IN 1911 BY NEWCOMBE.
COPPER NUGGET, NUGGET CREEK, VALDEZ, ALASKA, 1903
COPPER RIVER BASIN, ALASKA.
COPPER-BREAKER, COLLECTED BY NEWCOMBE, 1905.
PREHISTORIC HAND MAUL
KWAKIUTL COPPER, BANK OF BELGIUM COLLECTION
CHIEF DISPLAYING A COPPER
ON THE VALUE OF A COPPER
 

THE DANCE ENVIRONMENT

 

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