Nulamal Mask

Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation UCC – 80.01.148 The Nu’ama’a or “Fool-Dancer” are messengers and assistants to the Hamat’sa who help enforce the laws of the ceremonies. They will attack people by throwing stones, hitting with sticks and even stabbing and killing with lances and war axes. The Nu’ama’a are initiated by a fabulous people called At’asamx, who live near a lake, inland from D’axsiwa’yi. Their village is believed to be on an island floating on a lake. They have enormous noses and their bodies are covered in snot. In ancient times a man fell in with these people and came back exhausted and “crazy”. His nose was running all the time; he ate mucus and smeared it all over his body. He urinated and defecated in the house and it took a long time for the people to bring him back to his senses. From this man the Nu’ama’a are said to derive their origin. They are out of their senses and have long noses. They are as filthy as the first Nu’ama’a was said to have been. When a young man is initiated into this society an old Nu’ama’a will throw mucus from his nose onto him thus “throwing the spirit of the Winter Ceremonial into him”. The Nu’ama’a when he performs does not dance, but when excited, runs about like madman, throwing stones, knocking people down and making his cry, which is Wi! Wi! Wi! They turn right instead of left and make their circuit around the fire turning left.