Northwest Coast Ancestor Mask

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Northwest Coast Ancestor Mask

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An Exceptional Northwest Coast Ceremonial Ancestor Mask
Nuu-Chah-Nulth (Nootka) Tribe
West Coast Vancouver Island
19th Century
12.25” (31.1 cm.) high

For more info or to purchase, contact:

Anthropos Gallery
Malibu, CA
info@anthroposgallery.com
949-443-1605 / 310-951-5131
www.anthroposgallery.com

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Additional Info:

Circa 1870s to 1880.

Superbly carved and painted, there is a row of tacks along the top edge of the mask with attached feathers which are now worn to nubs. The features are bold and emphasized with deep carving beneath the brow, the cheeks decorated with feather-like designs, with a band of white dashing around the outlined eyes, and applied pigment the outer nostrils and lips. This type of mask is very deep from front to back, and narrow from side to side.

Materials: Hardwood, native and trade pigments: graphite, ground clam shell pigment, vermillion.

Condition: The is a rejoin repair to a split in the wood on the backside of the mask. It is in otherwise excellent condition.

History: This mask was used in the ceremonial "Changing Mask Dance" by members of the Tla'oquiaht (Clayoquat) Band of the West Coast of Vancouver Island. It has been suggested in various publications that Dr. Atlieu, a tribal healer and carver, carved and painted this mask, but a well known contemporary artist from that Native Band researched, and states that this mask is significantly older than the masks that Dr. Atlieu created.

Provenance: From a superb Oregon Native Art Collection. This mask is sold with an expertise report by Steve Brown, former Curator of Ethnographic Art at the Seattle Art Museum, and an author, artist, and top scholar of antique Northwest Coast art.