Naxnok Mask

Naxnok Mask

The naxnok (spirit) “W’atsx” represents the animal spirit of the Fisher. This naxnok enters into people and temps them into the woods where they become lost forever. When a performer appeared as W’atsx- at gatherings, he wore a suit of marmot skins and wielded wooden claws. He danced, sounding a concealed whistle, wiggling his moveable eyebrows and lower jaw. He then struck out at certain chiefs with his claws, sometimes causing injury. The chiefs were later paid with blankets according to their rank. Acquired at Laxgalts’ap, 1912.