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A pair of mystery masks

2 from same place?

2 from same place?

Q: We ended up with two masks we could not identify. Could you help us out please. Thanks so much,
Norb (Visitors should know that Norb is constantly visiting estate auctions where he always wins the best items for a reasonable price. You can visit his store at www.estateauctionsinc.com 830

A: I can’t remember ever seeing masks like these two. Obviously, they are from the same culture and time period. I suspect they were used in culture, perhaps a long time ago. If I had to make a guess, I’d say they’re both from Alaska. If that turns out to be true, they would be of great interest to serious collectors. I hope Norb will send the size of each in a comment. If you have a hunch where they came from, please let us all know.

Categories:   Native America

Comments

  • Posted: September 25, 2015 14:33

    Aaron

    I’d say Alaska as well, possibly Yupik.
  • Posted: September 25, 2015 14:34

    Norb Novocin

    Hi Bob, Silly me. The top one measures approx. 13 1/4" across 8 1/4" tall and 4" deep. The bottom one measures approx. 8 1/4" wide, 9 1/4" tall and 3 1/4" deep. Thanks, Norb
  • Posted: September 25, 2015 14:36

    Bob Ibold

    Norb just sent in the following... On that first mask, if the wearer tilts their head side ways it looks like a crescent moon with a head face in profile.
  • Posted: September 25, 2015 14:37

    Chris

    This is definitely one of the most intriguing mystery mask cases - the half moon is evident (and a very interesting, unusual mask item, by its form). However, what about the second one? why is it so round with a face? I guess the two are a corresponding pair, either one of them is the half moon, and the other is the full moon - or a half moon and a sun. Let's hope someone with ethnographic expertise in maybe North American indigenous cultures knows more (if we assume them to come from the North)...and let's not forget northeastern Russia, I think the masks could also originate from northeast Asia.

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