This mask would have been danced by the participants of the winter dance ceremonies among the Kwakwaka’wakw of Northern Vancouver island and the adjacent mainland, around the turn of the century. The mask is most likely an Atlakima mask because of the white wash, cedar bark, and rough work. The work is considered rough because the mask would have only been created to be worn four times before being burned.
Similiar markings on the cheeks of a known U’mista mask could mean that this mask represents a character in the dance called the “ground preparer”. The “ground preparer” is described as “the one who goes down on the house floor” and makes way for the other characters to come forward and dance.