Kwakiutl (Kwagiulth) 1964
Bukwas Mask (Speaker’s Mask)
Tom D. Hunt comes from a family of renowned First Nations artists. He is the son of Kwakwaka’wakw Hereditary Chief George Hunt and Mary Hunt and is descended from Mungo Martin. Born in Victoria, Tom began his training in Kwakwaka’wakw art at age twelve as an apprentice to his father, later working with his brother, George Hunt Jr. As a teenager, Tom spent several summers in Campbell River learning the style of the ‘Nakwaxda’xw Nation from his maternal grandfather, master carver Sam Henderson.
In 1983, Tom moved to his home village of Fort Rupert, where he worked with his uncle, Calvin Hunt. He has also assisted carver Susan Point with several of her sculptures.
A versatile and accomplished artist, Tom enjoys creating works of all sizes, ranging from large-scale woodcarvings to small, finely-detailed pieces. He is particularly known for his masks, many of which have been presented at potlatches.
Bukwas (Bukwis, Bukwus, Pugwis), Wild Man of the Woods, is a spirit who roams the woods at the edge of the sea or along rivers, gathering shellfish and offering food to human beings in order to lure them into the spirit world. Bukwas is closely associated with Pookmis, the Wild Man of the Sea. Stories about Pookmis and Bukwas often overlap.