Dragon dance head


This Chinese dragon head was recovered by Vancouver Police from a burned out building in Chinatown on East Pender Street in 1988. The effigy was later given to the Vancouver Police by the insurance company that covered the building. It was likely used in Chinatown festivals as the Chinese Free Mason Society’s Dart Coon Club is located on East Pender near where the dragon head was found.

The Chinese Dragon Dance mimics the sinuous movements of the dragon, which represent luck, auspiciousness, power and dignity. The dragon head fits over the body of a dancer whose movements will display the gaping mouth with prominent teeth and tongue. The head is made of silk stretched over bamboo struts. Chinese characters and a Freemasons' symbol painted on the back of its head to illustrate its origin and probable owners.

Date Range 
c. 1960 - 1985
Place of Manufacture 
Place of Use 
Head: 66cm high, 60 cm wide, 82 cm long; Body: 240 cm long
Museum Location 
Catalog Number 
Vancouver Police Department