Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Mask - Inuit
Look closely at this mask and you'll see features of both a seal and a bird. It's thought that perhaps the carver wanted to portray a spirit that would belong to both the ocean and the air. The tribes from Western Alaska created spectacular carved masks. They were intended to represent the spirits of nature. Those spirits control the harsh elements of the world allowing man to survive only with their favor. This mask was used by hunters to honor a seal-like spirit in the hopes of guaranteeing a steady supply of game for food. Quite a bit of the 18 x 20 inches of this mask is made up of feathers. However, it still looks like it would be heavy on the head.