The Atlakin mask dance plays an important role in the ceremonial life of the Kwakiutl. Atlakim beings are forest spirits of the most diverse appearance. Their chief is Xamsalilala. He is the first to appear and summons the other 39 spirits, one after the other, into the ceremonial hall. This Xamsalilala mask, also shown on the dust jacket, was carved in the 1940s by the famous chief and artist Willie Seaweed (1873-1967), a Nakoaktok Kwakiutl from Blunden Harbor, located on the mainland opposite Port Hardy. Bill Holm dedicated an exhibition and a book with the title "Smoky Top" (Vulkan) to this famous chief and artist. (27 cm, MOA)
MOA = Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver