Europe

Tschaggatta mask from Swiss Alps

Q: This is a Native American mask. I would love your reaction/input. Dominikija, 1654

A: On February 8, 2019, a viewer submitted a similar mask that he found in an attic in North Carolina. It was roughly 10 inches tall (minus the hair) and 8 inches wide. It appeared to have real teeth. Take a look at #1515 in our archives.

What I thought was a Cherokee Booger mask was actually a small, decorative Tschäggättä mask from Lotschental in the Swiss Alps. The Mask Man had gotten it wrong. Well, I’m not going to make that mistake again.

Incidentally, you can easily learn more about this traditional European mask with the help of Google. C

4 Comments

  • Chris

    I was in the Lötschental just two days ago. There is absolutely no doubt, yes, a Tschäggättä souvenir mask 🙂 Nice to see that our Swiss cultural items travel overseas.

  • Patrick Smith

    Very interesting use of, what I assume, is real teeth (perhaps animal teeth). I came across a mask maker in Java who was attaching surf board wax teeth to his traditionally carved masks to a similar effect.

  • Dominikija Prostak

    Thank you for the input. A Native American collector is working with me on my next auction and he also thought it might be a Cherokee Booger mask but also saw things, like the wood of the mask burned to make it look older, that caused him to be hesitant. Thank you for helping us to identify.

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