This Medicine Man Mask was hand-carved by Kwakwaka'wakw artist Junior Henderson. It has been carved from alder wood, painted in black, grey, and red acrylic, and features 6 onlays of abalone. The surface of the forehead, cheeks, chin, and hand have been rubbed with graphite powder. Atop the head sits a pair of joined feathers, carved in alder, with the edges deliberately charred. This mask represents a figure commonly portrayed in traditional Kwakwaka'wakw potlatches called MaMaga, or the Medicine Man.
MaMaga is a Medicine Man figure and a highly respected Potlatch dance.
“I had that dance given to me when I was about 15 years old... and it came from the ʼNakʼwaxdaʼx̱w people, where my grandfather came from. It’s a medicine man said to be able to take good away or put good back into you, as well as place negative things within your body , and then come back and fix you, to show you the power he has within himself. People always pay attention when the MaMaga does his dance. It’s a very humbling dance.
We are not only holding up a legacy of carving, we are holding up a legacy of looking after these dances that are placed upon us.”
- Junior Henderson
The mask including the feathers measures approximately 19 inches or 48 centimeters high, 9 1/2 inches or 24 centimeters wide, and 6 inches or 15 centimeters deep.
This piece is part of our exhibition “Looking After a Legacy: Through the Grains of Cedar” which opens on September 3rd 2022. While this artwork is available for purchase, we do ask to hold the piece at the gallery until October 3rd 2022 for the first month of the exhibition. We will then ship the piece to you or notify you that it is ready for pickup. If you have any questions please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org