Arts of the Americas
Whistles are generally used in indigenous cultures of the Americas to announce the presence of supernatural forces. In the Hamatsa ceremony, young male initiates who behave like wild cannibals as part of their initiation go through a process of four ceremonial cycles that calm and socialize them until they are accepted into society. During the fourth and final section, they reenact the unruly cannibal behavior of Baxbakwalanuksiwae (Man Eater at the End of the World). The wild Hamatsa dancer is brought inside the ceremonial house while whistles such as this one, representing the Man Eater’s many mouths, are blown.
Los silbatos se usan generalmente en las culturas indígenas de las Américas para anunciar la presencia de fuerzas sobrenaturales. En la ceremonia Hamatsa, iniciados jóvenes que se comportan como caníbales salvajes como parte de su iniciación, atraviesan un proceso de cuatro ciclos ceremoniales que los calman y socializan hasta que son aceptados en sociedad. Durante la cuarta sección, ellos reinterpretan la conducta caníbal descontrolada de Baxbakwalanuksiwae (Comedor de Hombres en el Fin del Mundo). El bailarín Hamatsa salvaje es llevado al interior de la casa ceremonial mientras silbatos como éste, representando las muchas bocas del Comedor de Hombres, son soplados.
Cedar wood, cotton cord, resin, pigment
Museum Expedition 1905, Museum Collection Fund
The whistle is in the form of a human face with an open mouth. The instrument was likely played during the Hamatsa initiation ceremony. A cotton cord is wrapped around the figure's neck and head piece.
This item is not on view
Gwa'sala Kwakwaka'wakw. Hamatsa Whistle, 19th century. Cedar wood, cotton cord, resin, pigment, 8 11/16 x 2 3/4 in. (22.1 x 7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1905, Museum Collection Fund, 05.588.7351. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 05.588.7351_acetate_bw.jpg)
overall, 05.588.7351_acetate_bw.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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