Thunderbird image
spacing image
Search   CARD   MediaBase
Colours  
Myths
Stories
Drumming
Music
Sound
Video
Interviews
Artists
Press
Scholars Site
Teachers Site
Kids Site
Website français venant bientôt.
Native Drums Homepage
Tell us what you think... Take a site survey
Scholars Site
Teachers Site
Kids Site
Set Large Text
Set Medium Text
Set Small Text
  Visit our
companion
   website

Visit our companion website, Native Dance
Native Dance

 

Site Design
Design and
technology by
Sumner Group


Site Content
Content by
Carleton
University


Acknowledgement
This site was
made possible by
the support of

Heritage Canada Logo
Drum Gallery
Mask Gallery
Chapter Buttons
Paul Kane Watercolour - Ojibwe Cermonial Drum
Painted Cree Frame Drum
Cedar Box Drum
Frame Drum with 2 Snares
Octagonal Painted Frame Drum
Butterfly Painted Frame Drum
Ojibwe Frame Drum
Cedar Log Drum
Raven Wolf Drum
Halibut Drum
Sculpin Drum
Iroquois Water Drum
Ojibwe Bird Drum
Dzunukwa Mask
Kwigwis Mask
Bakwas Mask
Deaf Man Mask
Nulamal Mask
Crooked Beak Mask
Baxbakwalanuksiwe Mask
Owl Mask
Ancestor Mask
Xwi Xwi Mask
Home
Drums
Masks
Dzunukwa
Kwigwis
Bakwas
Deaf Man
Nulamal
Crooked Beak
Baxbakwal...
Owl Mask
Ancestor
Xwi Xwi

Myths
Stories
Drumming
Music
Sound
Video
Interviews
Showcase
Press
Citations
Teachers
Scholars
Card
About

 

Video bullet
Morningstar
River Singers
Perform Live


Video bullet
Making an
Ojibwe
Hand Drum


Interview bullet
How to
find your
Voice


Interview bullet
The When
and Why
of Drums


 

Launch larger image

Dzunuk'wa
Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation "UCC 80.01.41 The giantess Dzunuk'wa is a member of the large family of giants who live in the far away mountains and woods. Black in color, with bushy, unkempt hair and a pursed mouth through which she utters the cry, Hu! Hu! She was a terrifying and threatening creature. She carries a huge basket on her back in which she put disobedient children she stole, taking them to her home to eat them. However, the children usually outwitted her, as she is vain, stupid and clumsy. In another aspect Dzunuk'wa, is the possessor of the “Water-of-Life”, a gift she would bestow on people fortunate enough to encounter and overcome her. Her most important role is the bringer of wealth and good fortune. In the Winter Ceremonies, Dzunuk'wa appears in two forms. As a dancer in the T'seka, she is a shaggy lumbering creature with half shut eyes. She is not awake enough to dance the normal four circuits around the fire, but staggers in the wrong direction and when escorted to her seat, she falls asleep. In her other role, she carries a basket of coppers that she gives to the Chief who is selling or giving them away. The most important right of the Dzunuk'wa, is when Kwakwaka’wakw Chief’s wear a special form of this creature. At the end of required potlatch obligations to complete a hereditary Chief’s role, the Chief will put on the family’s crest representing a male Dzunuk'wa mask called Gi’kaml. This mask characterized not by the foolish face with half closed eyes, but a strong and noble face with eyes partially opened. These masks usually include a mustache, eyebrows and locks of human hair, and are very carefully carved, representing family title and hereditary nobility. It is with this mask that hereditary Chief's donned the Gi’kaml and carried out the intense ceremony of “Copper-Breaking”. As this highly respected and feared creature, Chiefs carried out the ceremony of cutting copper; they usually used a ceremonial knife that is carved also bearing the head of Dzunuk'wa.

 

About Drums
Stories
Drum Culture
Travel the map from the Plains to the Northwest forests to discover the origins of the many different drums of the First Nations.
The Earth World
Tailfeather Woman
Crow Water
Building a Drum
Learn how to make the basic frame drum of the Aboriginal Nations.
The Creation
The Ojibwe creation story richly illustrated.

 





#1 The giantess Dzunuk'wa lives where?

In the sky and clouds.
In the sea and waves.
In the mountains and woods.


No! Dzunuk'wa doesn't live that far up!

No! Dzunuk'wa doesn't live thar far down!

Correct! Dzunuk'wa lives far away in the mountains and woods with her large family.

No... the basket is very large, too large to just carry small nuts and berries.

Correct! Dzunuk'wa kidnaps disobedient children and puts them in her basket to carry them home for dinner.

No... she would rather carry her dinner than firewood.

No... try again, there's no such thing as the powder-of-taste!

Correct! She would give you the water-of-life.

No... try again, the crest-of-power sounds interesting, but that is not the answer.


   * * *

 

Valid XHTML!     Level Triple-A conformance icon, W3C-WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0

 

Back to Top


This project was made possible with the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage through Canadian Culture Online

Heritage Canada Logo