Photo of the Week: “Hamatsa Emerging From The Woods” By E.S. Curtis

by Chris Murray on April 21, 2020
Hamatsa Emerging From The Woods, 1914. Photo by E.S. Curtis.

This photograph by E.S. Curtis is of a Hamatsa shaman, possessed by supernatural power, emerging from the woods after many days participating in a secret society ritual. He is a member of the First Nations’ Kwakwakaʼwakw peoples of British Columbia.

When we finally emerge from this pandemic many of us may have a reaction similar to the gentleman in this photograph. We post this on the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.

Self-portrait, 1889. Photo by E.S. Curtis.

“I feel that the life of these children of nature is like the dying day drawing to its end; only off in the West is the glorious light of the setting sun, telling us, perhaps, of light after darkness.” E.S. Curtis, 1905.

Govinda Gallery featured Edward Sheriff Curtis’ photographs in a major exhibition that opened on May 5th, 1978. It was our first exhibition of photographs, and could not have been a better start for our photography initiative.  The Smithsonian Natural History Museum purchased a portfolio of Curtis’ photographs from us during that exhibition. That made me feel we were moving in the right direction. 

“Hamatsa Emerging From The Woods,” 1914, is available from Govinda Gallery. 

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