Object photography

Image © Dan Gair, 2008.
Image © Dan Gair, 2008.
Click image to enlarge +

Object description

  • Yup'ik artist
  • Finger mask, before 1884
  • Wood, paint, caribou hair
  • Alaska, Arctic, United States
  • H: 5 3/8 in, W: 4 1/2 in, D: 3/8 in (H: 13.7 cm, W: 11.4 cm, D: 1.0 cm)
  • Gift of the Smithsonian Institution, 1884
  • E3535


These are Yup'ik dancing masks, worn on the fingers while dancing. The objects are carved out of wood and have 2 finger loops below 3 open work carved concentric rings, painted in white, red and black with a white 'bull's eye' in the middle. The outside edge is decorated with tufts of gray caribou hair.

Exhibition History

  • Sacred Circles: Two Thousand Years of North American Indian Art, Nelson Atkins Museum of Art; 1976 through 1977