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Stolen traditional First Nations bird mask returned to B.C. owner

A traditional Huxhukw mask, modelled on this one held by the University of B.C. Museum of Anthropology, has been stolen from a shed in Alert Bay.
Image Credit: UBC Museum of Anthropology
September 26, 2014 - 1:17 PM

ALERT BAY, B.C. - A ceremonial First Nations mask that was stolen from a shed in Alert Bay, B.C., has been returned.

RCMP Const. Andrew Curtis says a private collector surrendered the art piece to police on Wednesday, nearly a week after it was reported stolen.

The mask was returned to its rightful owner who lives in the small island community between Vancouver Island and the B.C. mainland.

Curtis says the collector won't be charged, but another man has been arrested and faces charges of breaking and entering, theft, and public mischief.

The mask depicts the supernatural bird Huxhukw (HOO-hoowk), and is one of three bird masks used by the Kwakwaka'wakw (KWAK-wak-ya-wak) peoples during winter ceremonies.

The mask has a five-foot-long beak, and is painted in bright colours.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2014
The Canadian Press

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