A great Northwest Coast Kwakiutl mask by famed carver Henry Hunt (1923-1985). The mask is fully signed and retains old labels to the interior. The mask depicts the mythological creature known as man of the sea. Nice large size and very well carved.
Henry Hunt replaced Mungo Martin as the Thunderbird Park Master Carver in 1962. He was born in 1923 at Tsaxis (Fort Rupert) and worked as a logger and a fisherman before taking up carving full time. He married Mungo Martin’s adopted daughter, Helen, in 1939. In 1954 he moved to Victoria and became Martin’s chief assistant in the Thunderbird Park carving program.
Following Martin’s death in 1962, he became the park’s Master Carver and worked with his son, Tony Hunt, as his chief assistant carver. Henry and Tony Hunt created a series of important works at the park, including an outstanding pole for the Indians of Canada Pavilion at Expo67 in Montreal. Perhaps their most significant work is the 32-foot (9.75m) memorial pole erected in 1970 at ‘Yalis (Alert Bay) in memory of Hunt’s mentor, Mungo Martin. When Henry Hunt resigned from the carving program in 1974, his son Richard Hunt became Master Carver.