The art of Hereditary Kwakwaka’wakw Chief and Master Carver Tony Hunt (Naquapenkim) is a contemporary expression of an ancient design tradition of the Kwakwaka’wakw peoples of the village of T’sakis on Vancouver Island. The artist was early apprenticed to his grandfather, Master Carver Mungo Martin, who created many masks and monumental carvings for Kwakwaka’wakw ceremonies during the first half of the twentieth century. As an artist and a cultural leader among his people Tony Hunt represents an unbroken tradition that reaches back thousands of years.
Tony Hunt’s two and three dimensional art and monumental sculptures are displayed throughout British Columbia, represented in the Canadian Museum of Civilization and are exhibited in the United states, Mexico, Argentina, England, Germany, New Zealand, China and Japan.
Today, Tony strives to maintain the rich artistic and cultural heritage of the Kwakwaka’wakw People. He has trained over 100 young First Nation artists and actively fosters the continuance of traditional ceremonies as a dancer, singer, high ranking Chief and Kwa Kwala speaker for his people.
The artist maintains a design and carving workshop at the Kwakwaka’ wakw Village of T’sakis. He has been a vice-president of the B.C Indian arts and Crafts Society, is an honorary life member of the University of B.C. Alumni Association, a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and holds an Honorary Doctor of Law degree from Royal Roads College.
Tony says of his designs:
“For my people, clan and family identities were proudly displayed everywhere and on every item of daily life. I continue to create designs that speak of the greatness of the Kwagulth traditions. Wear my clothing with a feeling of the strength of an unbroken tradition that reaches back thousands of years and remains a symbol of cultural and human pride today.”