Mask

Mask

about 1890
Culture
Kwakwaka'wakw
mask
wood and paint
Native Arts acquisition fund
1949.3641

Kwakwaka'wakw artist, Mask, about 1890. Wood and paint; 4½ x 8½ x 11 in. Denver Art Museum: Native Arts acquisition fund, 1949.3641

Dimensions
height: 4 1/2 in, 11.43 cm; width: 8 1/2 in, 21.59 cm; length: 11 in, 27.9400 cm
Department
Native Arts
Collection
Indigenous Arts of North America
Native peoples on the Northwest Coast have rich masking traditions that play a role in great feasts called potlatches, held to recognize and celebrate clan status. Each clan has its own crest or symbols visually proclaiming ownership of everything from clan names to fishing territories. Artists are commissioned to carve, paint, or sew clan symbols on clan members’ belongings. The masks of the Northwest Coast collection were made by artists from different tribal groups and serve a variety of purposes. Some feature clan symbols while others were made for specific ceremonies, fashioned as portraits, or created for the contemporary art market.
Known Provenance
Lieutenant Emmons, collected at Oweekago at the head of Rivers Inlet, 1921. Julius Carlebach, NY, before 1949; Denver Art Museum, 1949.