Native America

Eskimo artifacts: fantasy in a cold climate

This is part of an article by Susan More in the Sep 29, 2017 Financial Times. Both masks are Yup’ik and, if you found one, it better be a recently-made fake or you surely wouldn’t be able to afford it.

These are more Surreal than we are!, an indignant André Breton apparently exclaimed when he first encountered a Yup’ik ceremonial mask in New York. It is little wonder that the Surrealists were fascinated by these colored, strikingly adorned artifacts since they are among the most inventive, expressive and fantastical of all tribal arts. We threw ourselves into the poetic atmosphere of the Eskimo masks. We breathe in Alaska, we dream Tlingit, we make love in Haida totem poles. A+

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