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Shamanic Ritual Mask, Yup’ik Culture

ca. 1890-1910

Made of driftwood under the supervision of a shaman, this mask was used in rituals to ask the forgiveness of the spirits of animals hunted and slain. It reveals the dual nature of the man wearing it and his animal double (angoak), in the same way that every animal also has an element of human spirit (inua), both of which were originally capable of metamorphosis. Yup’ik masks, constructed like symbolic riddles imbued with shamanic energy, fascinated the Surrealists.

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi/ Photo: Thierry Ollivier

Title: Shamanic Ritual Mask, Yup’ik Culture
Geography: Yukon River, Anvik region, Alaska
Date: ca. 1890-1910
Medium: wood, natural pigments, plant fibers, feathers
Classification: cult item
Dimensions: 58 x 37cm
Inventory number: LAD 2013.049
Contact for images: [email protected]
Permalink: https://www.louvreabudhabi.ae/en/Explore/online-collection/shamanic-ritual-mask-yupik-culture
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