Native America

Portrait mask from NWC Canada

North West Coast
North West Coast

Q:  I got this mask at a local antique gun show. It is made of cedar and is nine and a half inches tall. I believe it might be authentic northwest coast Indian. Do you think it is real, or a copy from the US? If you have the time to look at this, thanks very much.  Cyril, 777

A: Of course I have the time. It is a special pleasure for me when readers find a mask that might be worth a lot to collectors. This mask does not look like a reproduction and it could be old and used. It is thinly carved but the design of the human form is way below average. I can’t tell if it’s supposed to be Tlingit, Tsimshian, Haida or Kwakiutl. The proper detail just isn’t there, but not all Indians were talented artists. Try to show it to experts in the field for their opinions.

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