Monday, June 09, 2008

Kwakiutl Country

We have been tied up to the dock on Quadra Island for a few days, taking advantage of a secure and pleasant moorage to do some work on the boat and catch up with business. The Captain has been up to the top of the mast and down into the engine room and bilge; I have been editing photos and music files - not as useful, but good for the soul.

We took advantage of an opportunity to visit a museum run by the band of the Kwakiutl living on the southern end of Quadra Island near Cape Mudge. This is a sleeper of a museum, open only intermittently over the past few years. They have a rich collection of the masks and costumes that were used in the potlatch ceremonies.
While at the museum, we watched a short dramatic film called "In the Land of the Head Hunters" that was made by the photographer Edward Curtis in 1914. He filmed the Kwakiutl around one of their villages a little north of here, using their native canoes and costumes. The Kwakiutl, of course, only used these things for ceremony by then, but Edward Curtis was always all about inventing a romantic past for the Indians. It is a remarkable piece of film footage, best of all are the scenes in the canoes; the black and white still here is from the film. If you search online, you can view scenes from the film.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is also another ES Curtis production brought to life recently. The Indian Picture Opera(dvd) is a remake of his 1911 stage lecture and slide show. In this one, Curtis explains (in his words) the tribes of America's west. -All quite remarkable. It can be searched on Amazon.
- Jay

June 10, 2008 3:05 AM  
Anonymous Rob said...

Great pics. Nice sketches. Relaxing while watching the great rivalry.... Celtics Lakers. I think the last time I watched pro basketball was the previous meeting of the two teams in the 80's. No, watched a little MJ in the 90's too.

June 10, 2008 8:35 PM  

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