The Potlatch, an integral part of the oral culture was declared illegal in 1884 by the Indian Act and was banned until 1951. Participants in Potlatches during this time period could be arrested, convicted, and imprisoned for two to six months.
The resilience of the Potlatch speaks to its enduring cultural power. Today the Kwakwaka'wakw celebrate and practice their culture openly without fear of arrest, celebrating their timeless knowledge of what it means to be part of humanity, and the gifts and responsibilities that awareness creates. This exhibition honours the skilled carvers that continue to contribute to the Kwakwaka'wakw Potlatches today.
March 4 to October 18, 2015
"Kwakwaka'wakw potlatch masks: Art made to be destroyed"
The Vancouver Sun
Beau Dick: The Box of Treasures on Shaw TV
BEAU DICK and other master carvers, "The Box of Treasures: Gifts from the Supernatural."
Photo in Header by Marina Dodis. Photos in slider by Owen Luck, photo of Beau Dick by Farah Nosh