Mask. Kodiak Eskimos. USA , Alaska state, Kodiak. North America, The North-West of the continent, Alaska, Kodiak Island. Prior to 1843.

Mask
Collection MAE RAS: № 571-1a
Image ID: 4071635
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Museum inventory number:
№ 571-1a
Title:
Mask
Ethnicity:
Kodiak Eskimos
Place:
USA , Alaska state, Kodiak
Geography:
North America, The North-West of the continent, Alaska, Kodiak Island
Date:
prior to 1843
Collector:
Voznesenskii Ilya Gavrilovich, zoologist, entomologist, traveller
Expedition:
I.G. Voznesenskii's expedition (1840-1849)
Materials:
wood, baleen, puffin beaks, paint, sinew, intestine, seaweed, straw, cloth
Dimensions:
height with the baleen 108 cm, height with the disks 38 cm, width including disks 41 cm, height of the body of the mask 27 cm, width of the body of the mask 22 cm, width of the profile 25 cm
Commentation:
This mask and masks No. 571-1/b, --2/a, --2/b represent a toothed sperm whale. The strips of baleen with feathers on the end symbolize the “spurts” of water released by the whale when breathing. These masks were used during ritual celebrations dedicated to ensuring successful hunting in the upcoming hunting season. According to I. G. Voznesenskii, the performance consisted of six acts. In the first act a set of four hunters’ masks were used: No. 571—1/a, --l/b; No. 571—2/a, --2/b. This set also includes “the beaks of jokester-birds which were worn in the mouths of six naked boys who opened the first act of the play. The Alutiiq name for these beaks is “Chuxket” (No. 571—3/a, --b, --c, --d, --e, --f.—S.K.), and “six pieces of feather bows carried in the left land of each actor in the first act and called ‘kamuatet.”(No. 571—5/a, --b, --c, --d, --e, --f.—S.K.) (PFA RAN. F. 142. Op. 1 Prior to 1918. No. 9. Page 67)
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