Native America

Another Eskimo mask from Alaska


Q:  I bought a series of Yup’ik masks from an antique dealer–they were from an estate sale and had been originally purchased in the 1950s.  I just wanted your opinion of this particular one (which is one of the two best ones in the collection). The dimensions are 22″ high, 8″ wide for mask alone, 14″ wide including lattice sticks on side (which I think represent ripples in the water) but not including appendages, and about 2 1/2″ depth for mask alone (not including appendages).  Matthew, 1234

A:  Yup’ik masks play an important role in the ceremonial life of these Eskimos who live close to the Bering Sea. A variety of designs are carved out of wood, and some have added decorations of twigs, animal hair or feathers. This one is a classic design.

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