December 3, 2012

Dzunakwa and Her Basket of Children

Yul Baker, Dzunakwa and Her Basket of Children, 10" x 4" x 4"
The Dzunakwa is an important character in the dancing societies of the Kwakwaka’wakw peoples. Dzunakwa’s most important role was that of bringer of wealth and good fortune. She is a giantess, one of the large family of giants who live in the faraway mountains and woods. Also known as the “Wild Woman of the Woods,” she is characterized by her black color, bushy and unkempt hair, and pursed lips. Periodically she would wander from her home in the woods in search of small children to take home with her in her basket on her back. The children often outwitted her since she is clumsy, stupid and vain. Those who did manage to escape often returned home with various riches that the Tsonokwa kept in her house: dried meats, skins, dance privileges, and the “water of life” which revives the dead. 

Yul Baker's piece for our Annual Charity Bentwood Box Silent Auction is a beautiful miniature carved and painted Dzunakwa mask which rests inside a cedar bentwood box tucked inside a basket. Painted images of childrens' faces surround the exterior of the box, hidden behind the cedar bark of Dzunakwa's basket. 

This piece will be available for silent auction until December 8, 2012 PST. 

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