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Nuu-chah-nulth (Huu-ay-aht) Ceremonial Screen, 19th century

Nuu-chah-nulth (Huu-ay-aht) Ceremonial Screen in Thunderbird Park Thunderbird Park, 1950s. BC Government photograph. BC Archives B-07301.

Charles F. Newcombe purchased this ceremonial screen at the Huu-ay-aht community of Sarita, Barkley Sound, in 1911. Composed of a number of horizontal wooden planks, it depicts the complex histories, rights and alliances of a chiefly family. The chief displayed it at ceremonies, such as girls’ puberty ceremonies and marriages. The screen was restored and the upper portion replaced when it was removed from Thunderbird Park. This work was done by Nuu-chah-nulth (Hesquiaht) artist Tim Paul in the Thunderbird Park Carving Program. The screen is now in the First Peoples exhibit in museum.
RBCM 2110.

Left hand part of the screen in situ.Sarita, 1911. Charles F. Newcombe photograph. RBCM PN 493.

Thunderbird, the central figure, with a circular design in the centre of its body. This may have functioned as a target for ceremonial contests.


Ceremonial Screen next to the Stylized House Thunderbird Park. T. W. S. Parsons photograph. RBCM PN 6456.
A Whale is depicted below the Thunderbird. It has a human head in its mouth and a human-like figure at its tail.
Screen on display in the Royal BC MuseumScreen on display in the Royal BC Museum,
RBCM 3790
Potlatch structures on either side of the screen. Figures stand on these scaffolds and distribute gifts to the guests who witness and validate the event. 
Stylized house with screen on the leftThunderbird Park. T. W. S. Parsons photograph. RBCM PN 6456.

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