Kwakiutl (also called kwakwaka'wakw)occupy coastal areas of BC. Originally, there were 28 Aboriginal communities, all speaking dialects of Kwakwala. An 1880s photograph of the village on Hope Island, BC.
In 1792 Spanish explorers Dionisio Alcalá-Galiano and Cayetano Valdés and Captain George Vancouver encountered most of the south Kwakiutl groups, and Vancouver wrote detailed descriptions of them. A federal law of 1884 prohibiting the potlatch threatened to destroy the heart of the culture. In 1921 a large potlatch at Village Island resulted in the arrest of 45 people, of whom 22 were imprisoned, their ceremonial goods confiscated. * potlatch: A ceremony. The main purpose of the potlatch is the redistribution and reciprocity of wealth.
Coppers were one of the most valued offerings at the potlatch Chetzemoka's wives distributing potlatch
Head flatting is also called artificial cranial deformation. Head flattening is a form of permanent body alteration in which the skull of a human being is intentionally deformed. It is done by distorting the normal growth of a child's skull by applying force.
To signify group affiliation. To demonstrate social status. To create a skull shape which is aesthetically more pleasing or associated with desirable attributes
Besides Kwakiutl’s head flattening, there are many different customs around the world…