Gwa'sala Kwakwaka'wakw (Native American). <em>Speaker Figure</em>, 19th century. Cedar wood, pigment, 116 1/4 x 27 x 13 in. (295.3 x 68.6 x 33 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Museum Expedition 1905, Museum Collection Fund, 05.588.7418. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 05.588.7418_11.703a-b_SL1.jpg)

Speaker Figure

Artist:Gwa'sala Kwakwaka'wakw

Medium: Cedar wood, pigment

Geograhical Locations:

Dates:19th century

Dimensions: 116 1/4 x 27 x 13 in. (295.3 x 68.6 x 33 cm)


Museum Location: Arts of the Americas Galleries, 5th Floor


Accession Number: 05.588.7418

Image: 05.588.7418_11.703a-b_SL1.jpg,

Catalogue Description:
The sculpture is an oversized standing wood figure called a speaker figure that would have been placed outside a house where, through its hollow mouth, the chief's orator would make announcements for the community. The figure stands with its arms attached to its body and arms and legs bent. The head is oversized in proportion to the body and the neck is short. Wide bands of black eyebrows overhang large almond-shaped eyes. Nose is long and triangular; mouth is large and open. On the chin is a carved and painted goatee. Condition of object is fair. Surface wear overall with spongy wooden areas throughout. Second photograph is the figure in situ in the village in Smith Inlet.

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