Object photography

Click image to enlarge +

Object description

  • Yup'ik artist
  • Masks, late 19th century
  • Wood, pigment
  • Cape Vancouver, Alaska, United States
  • H: 6 1/4 in, W: 5 7/8 in, D: 1 3/4 in (H: 15.9 cm, W: 14.9 cm)
  • Gift of Israel Albert Lee, 1910
  • E13081
  • Used during winter dance ceremonies
  • Stories told through masks

Yup'ik masked dances took place during the long Alaskan winter. Songs and stories accompanying the dances underscored continuity between animal, human, and spirit worlds. On these masks the downturned mouth may identify a female character. These masks would have had a top fringe of feathers or caribou hair.