For the first time, members of the Kwakwaka’wakw community will perform the Atlakim ‘Dance of the Forest Spirits’ ceremony outside Canada. Hereditary Chief Alan Hunt will also be part of the performance, helping to animate the legend that accompanies the 16 new masks he has made for the Pine’s Eye exhibition at Talbot Rice Gallery. Our thanks to Hereditary Chief William Hawkins, who has prerogative over the Atlakim as part of his Box of Treasures.
Including story-telling, music and dance, the performers will assume the role of forest spirits. In the Legend of Atlakim, these spirits visit Prince Kwak’wabalas in a sacred place and share with him a dance that will teach him respect for all living things. These performers all have blood ties to the Atlakim prerogative and they will be undergoing both personal and communal journeys during the ceremony that connects them to their ancestors.
Talbot Rice Gallery is grateful to the Kwakwaka’wakw community for sharing this ceremony. This is a once in a lifetime event that we’re proud to share with our audiences.
This event was made possible thanks to the kind support of Canada Council for the Arts
and the High Commission of Canada in the United Kingdom.