[Kwakiutl Headhunter] [Kominaka Dancer]; Edward S. Curtis (American, 1868 - 1952); 1910 - 1914; Gelatin silver print; 20.2 x 15.2 cm (8 x 6 in.); 84.XM.638.52; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California
Nuu-chah-nulth basket about 2-inches wide. The Nuu-chah-nulth and other Pacific Northwest cultures are famous for their potlatch ceremonies, in which the host honours guests with generous gifts. The term 'potlatch' is ultimately a word of Nuu-chah-nulth origin. The purpose of the potlatch is manifold: redistribution of wealth, maintenance conference and recognition of social status, cementing alliances, the celebration and solemnization of marriage, and commemoration of important events.