Native American

Hams’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
RTC No: NA1390
Gift of Ralph T. Coe, 2011


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.

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