Chief Henry Speck

Bio

(b. 1908 – 1971, kwakwaka’wakw)

Chief U’dzistalis was born at Turnour Island August 12, 1908. He only went to school for 2 years, at the Alert Bay Residential School. At the age of 14, he was initiated as a Hamat’sa dancer the highest of Kwakwaka’wakw secret societies. His initiation took place at a potlatch given by his mother’s uncle, Chief Bob Harris. Since that event, speck became an acknowledged ceremonial song keeper and composer of Kwakwaka’wakw dances.

 

Later in his life he moved to Alert Bay and taught dancing every Monday night to the community in their efforts to revive their previously banned culture (see Potlatch ban). In 1925, Henry’s father gave an illegal Potlatch to assume the position of chief of the Lawit’sis, and Henry performed as Haamat’sa . When his father died, Henry was made Chief and named U’dzistalis (the greatest) at the potlatch he gave in memory of his father. He passed away in 1971.

Available Work

painting by Chief Henry Speck

RAVEN TURNS TO HUMAN FACE / LADY GIANT DANCE MASK

1959,

GOUACHE ON PAPER, FRAMED,

20.75 X 23”

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painting by Chief Henry Speck

THUNDERBIRD MASK / BLUE JAY MASK

1959,

GOUACHE ON PAPER, FRAMED,

20.75 X 23”

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painting by Chief Henry Speck

THUNDER BIRD DANCE MASK

1959,

GOUACHE ON PAPER, FRAMED,

20.75 X 23”

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painting by Chief Henry Speck

BLACK FISH & MOUSE THE MESSENGER OF THE WILDS

1959,

GOUACHE ON PAPER, FRAMED,

20.75 X 23”

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painting by Chief Henry Speck

BULLHEAD HEADMASK

1959,

GOUACHE ON PAPER, FRAMED,

20.75 X 23”

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painting by Chief Henry Speck

SNOW GEASE DANCE MASK

1959,

GOUACHE ON PAPER, FRAMED,

20.75 X 23”

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painting by Chief Henry Speck

SEA MAN DANCE MASK

1959,

GOUACHE ON PAPER, FRAMED,

20.75 X 23”

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painting by Chief Henry Speck

Seagull

1959,

GOUACHE ON PAPER, FRAMED,

20 X 22 INCHES FRAMED

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painting by Chief Henry Speck

SNOW GEESE, NA-NA-LA

1959,

GOUACHE ON PAPER, FRAMED,

20 X 22 INCHES FRAMED

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painting by Chief Henry Speck

GRIZZLY BEAR, LOON, SEAGULL FEAST DISH

1960,

GOUACHE ON PAPER,

20 X 22 INCHES FRAMED

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painting by Chief Henry Speck

THUNDER BIRD / HUMMING BIRD / BLUE JAY

1959,

GOUACHE ON PAPER,

19.5 X 22 “

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