Q: I have a mystery mask for you. A contact in Arizona is offering me this mask, claiming it is a Navajo mask from the mid-1800s. The age seems very unlikely (late 1800s I suppose is possible), but in any case I’m confused about the type. The only Navajo mask I know is the Yeibichai, and this doesn’t look like any Yeibichai I’ve ever seen, either in a live performance on a Diné reservation or in a collection. Possibly it isn’t Navajo after all, but even so, I can’t place it. Do you have any idea what it is? Aaron, 1042
A: This is a very strange mask. (Might remind someone of the KKK hood!) In the past we’ve had visits from collectors of Native American artifacts. I hope one of them suggest some possibilities. This item doesn’t look like tourist junk. I think it is an authentic Native American artifact.