Object Record

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Collection Ethnology Collection
Catalog Number 1949.4.101
Object Name Mask, Ritual
Description Kiiñaguk (mask), hand carved. Tikigagmuit (Iñupiat), likely from Tikigak area (Point Hope). Mask was painted in shades of red and black (now faded).* Carved tattoo line from nostrils, across cheeks. Mask has glue spots where hair or fur was once attached. Fourteen drill holes. Masks such as this one are traditionally carved for ceremonies and festivals and worn by dancers performing storytelling dances in the community.

*Based on conversations with Art Oomittuk, Tikigagmuit mask carver.

Label from Land, Sea and Spirit exhibit (2016):

Kiiñaguk (mask), c. 1890
Tikigaq Iñupiat

This wooden mask, depicting a female face as indicated by the now-faint red and black painted tattoo markings below the mouth (as seen in the above photo), comes from Tikigaq, a small village on the far northwest coast of Alaska. Masks like these are carved and worn during ceremonial feasts, called kivgiq.

Title Kiiñaguk (Mask)
Date c. 1890
Material wood
Technique carved
Dimensions H-5 W-6 inches
Credit line Gift of Louis Phillip Wulff
Culture Tikigagmuit (Iñupiat)
Subjects Inuit
Ceremonial objects