Dzunukwa (Wild Woman of the Woods) Mask by Gilbert Dawson, Kwakwaka'wakw
Dzunukwa (Wild Woman of the Woods) Mask red cedar, cedar bark, mountain goat fur, horse hair, copper earrings 28" long x 17.5" wide x 7" deep
Dzunukwa (Wild Woman of the Woods) is a giant, spiritually powerful spirit who can resurrect the dead and manifest lightning with her supernaturally loud voice. Dzunukwa guards and protects her children, who are all creatures and spirits of the forest. Human children who wander are likely to be captured by her and thrown into a basket on her back. She is almost always depicted with an accentuated mouth in an oval shape to represent her whispers in the wind that attract humans to the woods.
As well, Dzunukwa is considered a hierarchy figure, and if she comes to dance at your ceremony, it is a great honor. In this depiction, Dzunukwa is transforming into a Chief. The twisted band above the forehead is a way to denote this is a portrait mask meant to represent an ancestor of high status and rank in the community.