Gwa'sala Kwakwaka'wakw. <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: , 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:
Large sculpture of a 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 arms slight bent at the sides of the figure's body. The legs are bent too. 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: fair; surface wear overall with spongy wooden areas throughout. Second photograph is the figure in situ in the village in Smith Inlet.

Brooklyn Museum