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WILLIAM J FISHER COLLECTION
KEIAGWICHMJUT WOODEN MASK
CATALOG NO:  74692
OBJECT TYPE:  wooden mask

REMARKS:
Many Alutiiq masks incorporated an open, round mouth. It may be that this form signified whistling. Some oral history indicates that whistling was the means by which people called on spirits during ceremonies. Whistling by shamans and other participants is well-documented in explorers' accounts of the winter ceremonies.

The other striking feature of this mask is its very high forehead. Such masks may have represented evil men, reincarnated as spirits with pointed heads. Alternatively, the elongated shape suggests a being (possibly a man of high status) who is wearing a tall, embroidered ritual hat.

-Dee Hunt and Aron Crowell


COLLECTOR'S DOCUMENTATION:
"Wooden mask"

-William Fisher

CATALOG NUMBER:

74692

OBJECT TYPE:

wooden mask

ACCESSION NO.:

15687 (1885)

YEAR COLLECTED:

1884

FIELD NUMBER:

1

GROUP NAME:

Qa'irwigmiut

GROUP NAME RECORDED BY FISHER:

KEIAGWICHMJUT

LOCATION:

Douglas

LOCATION RECORDED BY FISHER:

DOUGLAS, ALASKA

NATIVE LANGUAGE TERM:

ggiinaqut, plural of ggiinaquq, similar to Yup'ik kegginaquq

NATIVE LANGUAGE TERM RECORDED BY FISHER:

CHI-NA-KUT

DIMENSIONS:

H=56 cm; W=14.5 cm; Depth=10 cm

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