Masks of the World

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A mask from East Greenland

aaaMystrySolvd-922Q:  I managed to get the Kalaallit Inuit mask for only $75 from someone who thought it was a “Witch Doctor Mask” from Africa instead of traditional art from Greenland.  Aaron, 922

A:  I found this on the internet.  “Not much is known about the role of masks in traditional Greenland societies and not many masks exist prior to the turn of the 20th century. The reason may lie in the mask’s strong personal link with its owner. Masks have often followed their owners to the grave or perhaps been destroyed by death. Another theory is that the mask’s power was so great that it had to be destroyed after use in a cult context. East Greenlandic masks are often described as dancing masks to be used in connection with different kinds of ceremonies of lamp extinguishing games. Theatrical masks were used for entertainment and house masks, which were smaller than the others, represented a domestic spirit and protected the home and its members. Masks from West Greenland are different and quite rare.”  A

 

Categories:   Native America

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