Mask, wood, painted, and feathers inserted in the outer edges; Inuit (Eskimo), Anvik From the Anvik area along the Yukon River.

Mask, 19th-20th century

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Yup'ik people have long maintained an annual cycle of ceremonies and festivals, passing Arctic nights in storytelling, singing, and dramatic masked performances. The purpose of these events is to enlist spiritual aid for survival in the harsh climate. They also build community feeling and a sense of cooperation. Many songs and dances are about success in hunting, an important concern. Shamans organize ceremonial dances and the carving of dance masks, which are made by men. Past Yup'ik artists had only a few materials, like driftwood, bone, fur, and feathers, but they used them skillfully, developing the spare, expressive style seen in this work. This mask, with its delicately carved features, probably represents a woman.

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Inuit, Mask (#611)
Details
Title
Mask
Role
Artist
Accession Number
81.14
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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Mask, wood, painted, and feathers inserted in the outer edges; Inuit (Eskimo), Anvik From the Anvik area along the Yukon River.