late 1800s–early 1900s
Wood (alder), pigment
Overall: 21.4 x 17.2 x 8.9 cm (8 7/16 x 6 3/4 x 3 1/2 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1979.83
In 1998, Robert Joseph, a Northwest Coast chief, recalled that when he donned ceremonial dance masks as a youth, "all the world is somewhere else . . . I am the mask . . . the bird . . . the animal . . . the spirit. I transcend into the being of the mask." Although this mask's identity is lost, it may represent a mythic ancestor of a Tlingit family and perhaps was worn during a winter ceremony.
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