Item AAAB7419-051 - Wolf Song

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

Wolf Song

General material designation

  • sound recording

Parallel title

Xisiwala, Wolf Headdress Song

Other title information

Title based on statements from Mungo Martin (’Na̱ḵap̓a̱nka̱m) as interpreted on reel cover by Dr. Halpern

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Title notes

  • Attributions and conjectures: Additional title commentary added by William Wasden Jr., Ryan Nicolson, and Henry Nelson.

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Reference code


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Original recording

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Statement of scale (cartographic)

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Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


  • October 23, 1951 (Creation)
    Vancouver (B.C.)

Physical description area

Physical description

One song, track one on 3" audio reel (Scotch).

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Archival description area

Name of creator

(July 17, 1910 - February 7, 1987)

Custodial history

Scope and content

This song was recorded in the home of Ida Halpern, 3707 West 37th, Vancouver, B.C. Ida Halpern notes quoting Martin: "Bella Coola, only woman are allowed to sing, not men. Men just sing a little bit. Woman dance and man sing. seven songs. wolf mask. HISIWI-head. Wolf song- always the same song for wolf dance. Kluquala. 40 old songs, people sing gradually less and less. Om Hit ( Umx'id is Tom Omhid) knew 10 of them. Mungo knows only eight. They were sung before the white man came. Nobody makes wolf songs now. Kwakitul and Kimquit have wolf songs. One time going around counter clockwise, if they went the other way they were thrown out since it was not allowed. Kekemachut dead long ago. Night time dance-Kimquit Indian. Potlatch dance-only Wolf power can sing it. Hamatsa is only one song-for one mask. Wolf Society-only the Kwakiutl have this one. Quinqiut Indians have another Wolf dance. Sometimes he gets a coast singer, LAS TOL to help and sing with him. Little Que Kodilikla is his father's mother, mother side. Gilbert Island Indian. Gigilkam Kwakiutl have the wolf dance from Fort Rupert. Geila Geila - come here. Contemporary community observatin: "Xisiwe'" meaning "teeth showing on forehead" is the name of the wolf mask. Umx'id is artist and contemporary of Mungo Martin ; ’Na̱ḵap̓a̱nka̱m. Tluquala Oługwala -Supernatural treasure (wolf). Que Kodilikla Ḵiḵadiliḵa̱la is wolf clan of Kincome Inlet Tribe." The wolf is the symbol of cunning and wisdom, it is in the first rank of animals in the Kwaka̱ka̱̕wakw spiritual universe. In myth, the wolf was the first to initiate young humans into the Winter Dance ceremonial.

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition


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Script of material

Location of originals

Original recorded on reel T4339-6 in 1951, located in Cool Storage, location room 003, cool container AV2012-0416, Masters 112.

Availability of other formats

Originally recorded on reel T4339:6 in 1951. No sound disk copy was created for this song. Reference cassette copies were made and stored in container 000443-345. Digital duplication masters created in 2013 and stored on cd T4339-006 in location 000443-0302.

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Alternative identifier(s)

Ida Halpern's original alphanumeric index number


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