Small Wren Mask by Tom Whonnock, Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation red cedar, cedar bark, pigment
8.5” high x 11” wide x 3 deep
The Wren is danced during the Bird Kingdom Dances, and is only danced by Kwakwaka'wakw Families who have the rights to the Bird Kingdom given to them through family linage or marriage with the Tlingit Nation from Southeast Alaska. According to carver Tim Alfred, the last time the Bird Kingdom masks were danced was at a potlatch given in the late 1990's by the late Chief Peter Knox of Fort Rupert, British Columbia.
Kwakwaka'wakw First Nation carver Tom Whonnock was born in 1955 in Alert Bay, British Columbia. Tom's family crests are Sisiutl and Thunderbird. He began carving wood at the age of sixteen. Tom worked with Carrier Nation artist Larry Rosso for six months, and his grandfather, Godfrey Hunt, advised him on form and technique. He has received numerous commissions, including large talking sticks.