Chief Henry Speck

Born on Turnour Island, Chief Henry Speck (1908-1971) attended school for only two years at Alert Bay Boarding School. At the age of 14, he was initiated as a Hamat'sa dancer, the highest of the Kwakwaka'wakw secret societies. Since that event, Chief Henry Speck has become a recognized ceremonial song keeper and choreographer of Kwakwaka'wakw dances. In the early 1960s, he became the artistic director of the Kwakiutl House Project in Alert Bay, where he also continued his artistic skills. Many paintings by Chief Henry Speck and other artists of the period were sold to private collectors and museums or were collected by Mayer.