The Hamatsa (cannibal) was a secret society among the Kwakiutl people of the Pacific Northwest coast. Part of its practice consisted of a dramatic performance with music, masks, and dancing. During the actual ceremony, initiates into the Hamatsa secret society (usually teenage boys) are taken by the cannibal spirit to reside in the woods for a specific period of time. The artist explores sound and movement in this book through text, image, and structure.

22 × 41 × 8 inches (expands to approximate depth of 45 inches)
wood, metal, handmade flax, cotton, and sisal paper with pulp painting and watermarks, ink, linen thread, PVA; tunnel book, letterpressed, hand-sewn and cut.
Includes accompanying pulp-painted marionette of cannibal bird spirit and sculpted flax paper hand rattles. $1700 Contact the artist for more information.

Multiple Edition: 5.25 × 10.625 x .25 inches (expands to approximate depth of 4 inches)
handmade flax/abaca, cotton/sisal, and dyed mitsumata paper, ink, thread;  tunnel book structure, laser cut, letterpressed, hand sewn.  Edition of 15.

The multiple edition of Hamatsa includes an original text by the artist, based on the declamatory nature and subject matter of existing song texts from the Pacific Northwest Coast Native cultures.

Text:

Behold my countenance!
Tremble and dance, for night has fallen and I’ve come knocking.
Faint with fright at the sound of my voice
singing of human flesh.
My spirit, this bird with his terrible beak,
snaps your fingers and drinks your blood.

 Quake!  You grasp
to feel my power and steal my song.
I shake myself free.
Listen!  The wild man of the forest
claws at your window, beats on your door,
to steal away your sons to his house full of corpses.

The multiple edition is available for purchase from Vamp and Tramp Booksellers.

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  • Video of book being "activated" by releasing the front panel

    This video demonstrates how the book can be activated by releasing a lever to let the front panel drop into the book. The front panel causes the handmade paper rattles, in the shape of hands, to move and create sound. The startling effect caused by sudden movement and sound references the fear-inducing drama of the Northwest Coast Hamatsa performance.

  • Video of book being "activated" in a darkened room with back lighting

    This video demonstrates how the book can be activated by releasing a lever to let the front panel drop into the book. The front panel causes the handmade paper rattles, in the shape of hands, to move and create sound. In a darkened room with back-lighting, the watermark image of the cannibal spirit suddenly appears. The startling effect caused by sudden movement and sound references the fear-inducing drama of the Northwest Coast Hamatsa performance.

  • Video of tunnel book with marionette of cannibal bird spirit

    This video shows how the accompanying marionette of the cannibal bird spirit can be lowered into the "stage" of the tunnel book. The snapping sound of the beak opening and closing references the sound made by the masked dancers during the actual drama of the Northwest Coast Hamatsa performance.

  • Hamatsa Multiple Edition, image 1

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