Native American

Hems’pek Totem Pole

Artist: Calvin Hunt

Culture/People: Kwakwaka’waka

Place: Northwest Coast

Media: Red Cedar and paint

Dims: 14.9 x 3.5 ft. (4.5 x 1 m)

Date: 2007

Description: Calvin Hunt was born in 1956 in Alert Bay, B.C. He is the son of the late Chief Thomas Hunt and Emma Hunt, which gives him the distinction of ancestry from both the Kwagiulth and Nuu-chah-nulth peoples. As well as being an accomplished performer of the Kwagiulth Winter Dances, Calvin is a world-renowned carver who has worked extensively with Henry and Tony Hunt. Calvin and his wife Marie currently live in Fort Rupert, B.C.

This pole was made for the Hamatsa, which is part of the winter dance cycle performed by men’s religious societies. At a winter dance ceremony to which many clans and neighboring tribes are invited the spirit of the Hamatsa or man-eating giant is evoked and the initiate is brought in wearing spruce bows and gnashing his teeth and even biting members of the audience.

RTC No: NA1390
Gift of Ralph T. Coe, 2011

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