Masks of the World


Yakut iron mask

aaaMystrySolvd-950aQ:  This mask was labelled as a Shaman’s mask from the Yakut people of Siberia. Do you have similar masks in your collection?   Jeff, 950

A:  I’ve never seen one in my 35 years of collecting. Now, after doing some research, I still know very little about them. The Yakut are living in Northern Siberia, just west of the Asiatic Eskimos. In the southern parts of their small country they raise horses and cattle. In addition, they produce there own iron ore and are excellent blacksmiths. Thus the iron mask.

aaaMystrySolvd-950bI’m posting another iron mask that is maybe from somewhere else. I’ve seen a number of iron masks from Mali and Nepal, but they don’t look like either of these. I hope one of our readers will comment.

The final mask came from Jeff today.aaaMystrySolvd-950c


Categories:   India & Himalayas, Misc


  • Posted: April 9, 2016 19:11

    Bob Ibold

    Jeff sent me this today. "I am e-mailing photos of two more metal shaman masks from Siberia. They are from the book 'Masks of Fabled Lands' by Thomas Murray. Thomas Murray's gallery is source of the second image you entered on your blog. The masks are both labelled as coming from the Evenk culture, 19th to very early 20th Century. The first is 10 inches and the second 9 inches."
  • Posted: April 9, 2016 19:20

    Bob Ibold

    I think it is clear that the last two iron masks are from the Evenk culture that borders the Yakut just to the south.
  • Posted: April 12, 2016 16:09


    Compare what is being described as a Temne iron mask from Sierre Leone: