Kevin Cranmer You enter the Big House, where you meet Kevin and resume your conversation...

Kevin tells you that he has been initiated in the Hamatsa ceremony, the most important of the complex dance societies of the Kwakwaka'wakw. In becoming a Hamatsa, he has become increasingly aware of the role an artist plays in relation to the potlatch ceremony. Kevin tells you,
"The banning of the potlatch illustrated two sets of values. One set reinforced a social structure based upon hoarding wealth. Thus distributing wealth as in the potlatch ceremony illustrated a completely different set of values. There are more important things than wealth such as the pride and prestige of the family. At the time of contact, the Europeans saw that natives were giving away all of their personal possessions and wealth and they didn't understand why. They didn't understand that there was an intricate social structure behind it aimed towards giving to family and the community and against personal gain."

The Cranmer family has a rich history of potlatching. The high standard of these ceremonies was established by Kevin's late grandfather Dan Cranmer. The greatest satisfaction he gets from being an artist, says Kevin, is creating pieces for family and for use in ceremonies. So long as there is a need for such regalia, he will continue to strive to fill that need and in the process, grow and learn as an artist.


Kevin leaves you to think about all he has told you. You remain with the mask. An elder recognizes the mask as one of Kevin's works and asks you to return it to its proper place. You conclude that you must understand Kevin's main purpose in producing his art if you are to return the mask to the correct place. You return the mask for:

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