Inuit / Mask / 19th century - 20th centuryInuit
19th century - 20th century

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Creator Nationality: North American; Canadian
Creator Role: painter
Creator Name-CRT: Inuit
Title: Mask
View: front
Creation Start Date: 1800
Creation End Date: 1999
Creation Date: 19th century - 20th century
Object Type: Sculpture
Classification Term: Mask
Materials and Techniques: wood, feathers, pigment
Dimensions: H.13-3/4 x W.17-1/4 in.
AMICA Contributor: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Owner Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
ID Number: 81.14
Credit Line: The John R. Van Derlip Fund

Inuit people have long maintained an annual cycle of ceremonies and festivals, passing Arctic nights in storytelling, singing, and dramatic masked performances. The purpose of these events is to enlist spiritual aid for survival in the harsh climate. They also build community feeling and a sense of cooperation. Many songs and dances are about success in hunting, an important concern.

Shamans organize ceremonial dances and the carving of dance masks, which are made by men. Past Inuit artists had only a few materials, like driftwood, bone, fur, and feathers, but they used them skillfully, developing the spare, expressive style seen in this work. This mask, with its delicately carved features, probably represents a woman.

AMICA ID: MIA_.81.14
Component Measured: overall
Measurement Unit: in
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: ?The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

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