Carved wood, pigments
CIRAM test (C14): 1410-1446 (95.4% prob.)
H: 18.5 cm – 7 ¼ in.
Excavated near Shishmaref in 2003
Ex collection Joseph G. Gerena, New York
Ex private collection Paris
Masks: Transformation, Transmission & Trickery, Joseph G. Gerena Fine Art, 2007
New Beginnings – Parcours des Mondes 2017
The several centuries-old mask represents a naturalist portrait, its features (eyebrows, cheekbones, eyes) remarkably rendered. A magnetic presence emanates from this shamanic mask.
The holes situated along the bridge of the nose are – as far as we know – unique in the limited corpus of ancient Inupiaq masks. They suggest that an additional element was attached to the surface of the mask: a representation of a totemic animal, a shamanic reference? This only reinforces the aura of mystery surrounding this ancestral mask.