Located in CB 101.6 (College Avenue campus, 1st floor, outside CB 118)
Chatterbox and Killer Whale, c. 1964
Acrylic on canvas
23″ x 9″ x 9″
University of Regina President’s Art Collection. Gift of Dr. Morris C. Shumiatcher, O.C., S.O.M., Q.C. and Dr. Jacqui Clay Shumiatcher, S.O.M., C.M., 2017; sc.2017.10
Born on October 16, 1923 in Fort Rupert, BC, Henry Hunt belonged to the Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw peoples (formerly Kwakiutl). Hunt’s Kwak̓wala name was K’ulut’a,which translates as porpoise. In his youth, Hunt trapped and fished, and had the opportunity to experience ceremonial life through storytelling, dancing, and potlatching. He first gained experience carving while working as a faller for logging companies, moving on to building fishing boats and finally, dugout canoes.
Hunt’s early masks were intended for the tourist trade and were made quickly, which gave him liberty to play with positioning of anatomical features. He would only stain the masks, to reduce the time it took to paint them. The masks portray animals and mythological beings that he would have learned about during his rich experience with Kwakwaka’wakw ceremonial life.
Some of his best-known work as a carver are at the Royal British Columbia Museum’s Thunderbird Park in Victoria. Hunt moved down to Victoria to assist his father-in-law, Mungo Martin, at Thunderbird Park. After Martin’s death, Hunt became master carver at Thunderbird Park. In addition to his work at the park, he carved many other totem poles, large and small. A notable recipient of one of his small presentation poles (approximately 18 inches tall) was Queen Elizabeth II. In 1983, Hunt received an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Victoria.