Reopening the Treasure Box: Francis Dick leads the Atla’gimma at Wawadit’ła

On June 17th, 2023, Kwakwaka’wakw artist Francis Dick led the Atla’gimma (Spirits of The Forest) dance at Wawadit’ła (Mungo Martin House). The gathering marked the first time that the Atla’gimma, the cultural property of Francis Dick’s father Chief Kwaxsistalla wath-thla (Adam Dick), was danced since his passing.

Legacy hosts first-ever Gule Wamkulu masked dance ceremony

Dr. Devi Mucina’s academic work and his familial connections to the communities and traditions of the Chewa peoples are central to Gule Wamkulu: Dancing Indigenous Governance. The exhibition features spirited photography and film by Kl. Peruzzo de Andrade, hand-crafted masks, Adinkra textiles, and an interactive bwalo, filled with brick-red sand. The heart of the exhibition is Gule Wamkulu, or “the great dance of life,” a unifying practice for Chewa communities. But what does it mean to bring Gule Wamkulu to Victoria?

Gule Wamkulu exhibition celebrates great dance of life

When Devi Mucina left Africa as a young man, he had no intention of returning to the ways of his people. But years later he found himself learning from the struggles and resistance of Indigenous Peoples in Canada. After watching the masked dances of the Coast Salish peoples, Mucina, director of the University of Victoria’s School of Indigenous Governance, felt inspired to reconnect with his past and his family.

Reawakening cultural tattooing of the Northwest

Ink marks paths through skin like rivers across the land. The indelible history of Indigenous tattooing, like the landscapes and waterways of traditional territories, can never be erased. Its significance reaches back through ancient time and ancestral connections, but its practice was banned in Canada in 1885 at the same time as the potlatch.