Living Traditions: The Kwakwaka’wakw Potlatch on the Northwest Coast

Creator(s): U'mista Cultural Society

Many believe that a rich and powerful person is someone who owns a lot. The Kwakwaka’wakw, on the other hand, believe that the rich and powerful are those who give the most away. Since time immemorial, the Kwakwaka'wakw have hosted potlatch ceremonies, and potlatching continues to play a central and unifying role in community life today.

The repatriated Potlatch Collection at the U’mista Cultural Centre tells an epic story of the resistance and resilience of the Kwakwaka’wakw. Learn more through film clips, incredible 3-D photographs, and Kwak’wala audio clips. A series of curriculum-based lesson plans is also available, to help you share this fascinating story with your students.

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