Chief Mungo Martin

Our ancestors guide us...
Some of the artists in this exhibition are no longer with us. A special thank you to those individuals who have loaned us these artists’ artwork from their private collections. We appreciate your generosity in allowing them to be part of Hitlisita’um "the copper will be fixed" exhibition.

Artist Bio

The late Nakapankam, or Chief Mungo Martin was a master Kwakwaka’wakw Northwest Coast artist who made major contributions towards carving, painting, singing, songwriting and teaching for many generations to come. Born in Fort Ruport in 1879, his name “Potlatch Chief ten times over” whose expertise on culture, traditions and songs was recognized and sought after not only by apprentice carvers, but also the University of British Columbia requesting to take over the totem pole restoration program despite the Potlatch ban.

Chief Martin Mungo carved during the Potlatch ban which meant risking his freedom, possible jail time or hefty fines to ensure the culture and art form would not be stolen. Nakapankam, was a mentor to greats such as Henry Hunt, Tony Hunt Sr. and Bill Reid, not to mention the irreplaceable work he did with ethnographers recording over 400 stories and songs at UBC and the Royal British Columbia Provincial Museum.