Anaktuvuk Pass Caribou Hide & Fur Eskimo Inuit Mask NR

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  • Item Category: Ethnic, Folk & Native American Art
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Sep 30,2007
  • Channel: Online Auction

I have a number of Eskimo / Inuit items for sale, so check my other auctions.

This auction is for a caribou skin mask made by the Nunamiut from Anaktuvuk Pass. The story goes that the first masks in this style were made in the 1950s after two Anaktuvuk Pass hunters were inspired after seeing Halloween masks in a store in Fairbanks. If you're not familiar with these masks, t's information following the description.

The face of the mask is caribou with what looks like seal eyebrows, hair and mustache. The hood fringe looks like wolf. I had a mask like this earlier and it dated from the 1950s or early 60s. This one looks similar in style. The mask (with fur fringe) is over 15 inches tall and about 11 inches wide. It's in good shape with only a bit of moth damage on the underside of the mask on the surface of the caribou (hard to see, but t

The Nunamiut are caribou hunters. Throughout the twentieth century, they have held on to their traditional way of life while adapting to a modernizing world. In the late 1950s, they began making and selling innovative masks fashioned out of caribou skin and other furs. The masks, which depict people wearing traditional Nunamiut clothing, hair styles and face decorations, create a link to the past and a bridge to the future: By making masks, people are reminded of long-standing cultural practices and beliefs; by selling them, they earn the money that allows them to hunt for their traditional foods and participate in a cash economy.

I was sent some information by Margaret Blackman when I had a mask for sale earlier this year. She's done a lot of research and been involved with the creative community of artists at Anaktuvuk pass. The following is from an article "More than just Tourist Art" by Magaret Blackman:

Anaktuvuk Pass caribou skin masks are an invented art form, made for sale and unrelated to any indigenous tradition of mask making within living memory. They are indelibly linked to the single village of Anaktuvuk Pass w the ingenious and unusual process for making them originated. At the same time, like many successful innovations, the masks been widely imitated to the point that any skin mask from Arctic Alaska is likely be labeled an Anaktuvuk mask whether it was made t or not. Mask making is labor intensive, requires considerable skin working skills, and hews to a set of standards.

I have more information provided by Ms. Blackman that I can send the winning bidder.

I expect payment within 7 days after the close of the sale. I'll gladly ship overseas, but please note that some forms of shipping to some locations don't allow insurance. I usually ship Priority Mail and you can check rates at (my Zip Code is 22902... Virginia). ). I'll gladly combine shipping if you buy additional items.

Thanks for your interest.

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