Shamanic Figure

North America | Alaska

Shamanic Figure

Alaska

Protection effigy
Point Hope, Alaska
Inupiaq culture – Archaic Eskimo

19th century
Carved wood
Height: 30 cm – 11 ¾ in.

Provenance
Ex collection Christopher Selser, Santa Fe
Ex private collection, Denver
Ex collection Galerie Flak, Paris, 2008
Ex collection Nathalie Chaboche & Guy Porré, France

Exhibited & published
“Alaska, passé/présent”, Boulogne-sur-Mer Museum, June-December 2016

Published: FAB Paris, 2023
Large Inupiaq wooden figure 30 cm / Galerie Flak Price: On request
Large wood-carved human figures from Alaska presumably served various purposes in ancient shamanic rituals. They could be used as house guardians, family protectors, personal assistants, spiritual helpers, commemorative portraits or grave markers for important members of the community.
This type of minimalist human figure falls within a stylistic continuum tracing back to the earliest statuary traditions in Eskimo art.
According to Yup'ik and Inupiaq informants, the groove on the back of this figure was the receptacle of the « spirit of lightning » which provided protection.

Inupiaq

“Alaska, passé/présent”, Musée de Boulogne sur Mer, June-December 2016

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