Red cedar, acrylic, graphite, feathers
11 x 6 x 4 1/2 inches
Intruder is one of the forty forest beings in the Atlakim (Dance of the Forest Spirits) of the Kwakwaka’wakw. Known by the Tsimshian word ‘Gadaxanis’, the Intruder is a gaxalagamlh: one who arrives during the reception dance on the beach, not so much a visitor–more of an intruder. One chief would insult his rival through his comments using the gaxala. Intruder masks were part of a humorous social dance originally performed by Tlingit communities when depicting their Athapaskan neighbours. The dance and its associated mask eventually found their way into the Kwakwa̱ka̱ʼwakw winter ceremony’s Atlakim (Dance of the Forest Spirit).