CEDAR WOOD DANCE MASK MADE BY TOM HUNT, KWAKWAKA’WAKW NATION, CANADA
Acquisition project coordinated by Americas curator Mona Suhrbier
Tom D. Hunt is a woodcarver and painter of the Kwakwaka’wakw Nation who’s art is anchored in the religious ritual context of the potlatch. His works embrace a broad palette of exceptional, richly coloured carvings, ranging from large-format totem poles and architectural elements through to delicate, complex pieces. His art testifies not only to his artistic skill but also to his extensive knowledge of his own culture, myths and rituals. Each and every one of his works tells its own story and fulfils a particular function.
He began learning about Kwakwaka’wakw art from his father at the age of twelve, when he became an apprentice. Later he worked with other renowned woodcarvers: his brother George Hunt Jr., his uncle Calvin Hunt and his maternal grandfather, Sam Henderson, from whom he learned the remarkable artistic style of the Nakwaxda’xw Nation (Blunden Harbour). As the son of Hereditary Chief George Hunt and Mary (Henderson), after the passing of his father he will himself inherit the position of chief.
There has been a longstanding association between the artist and the Weltkulturen Museum: in 1997, Tom Hunt participated in the exhibition “Raubwal und Sonnenfinder” (Predatory Whale and Sun Finder) at the museum and during his stay in Frankfurt he completed a mask for the collection.
The dance mask for the highest-ranking dance was commissioned by the Weltkulturen Museum. Americas curator Mona Suhrbier coordinated the acquisition project.
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