mask (dance & live theatre)


This mask is made of driftwood and was collected at the Inupiat community of Point Barrow in Northern Alaska. It would have been worn by a shaman in a dance ceremony and depicts the moment at which a spirit, in this case likely a bear spirit, inhabits the body of the shaman, the human features twisting into those of an animal. It was at times like this when hunters could appeal to the bear spirit to protect them from bear attacks in the coming hunts and to take on properties of the bear, the most dangerous and efficient hunter of the Arctic.

Collection Information

These objects are only a part of our collections, of which there are more than 350,000 objects. This information comes from our collections database. Some of this is incomplete and there may be errors. This part of the website is also still under construction, so there may be some fields repeated or incorrectly formatted information.

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