This figure of a Kwaguilth Mugamt Dancer was sculpted by Jack Gibson after personally observing a traditional Potlatch, a very rare experience, and studying the form of the dancer and his remarkable bird mask.
These dramatic masks demonstrate some of the most unique and imaginative examples of art produced by the Kwakwawala people.
The mask truly depicts the traditional Kwaguilth multiple bird mask which was worn by high ranking dancers, and represented the bird monster spirits in rare traditional dances which are preformed in the dramatic fireside ceremonies of the southern Kwakiutl.
The huge jaws of the hand-carved, wooden beak were hinged, and with great strength, skill and co-ordination the dancer, by operating concealed strings, could make it udder a loud cracking noise as he leaped in a self-induced frenzy, swaying to the sounds of rattles and drums.
The sculpture presents an unprecedented look into the culture and customs of the Kwaguilth People of British Columbia.