wood and paint
Native Arts acquisition fund
Kwakwaka'wakw artist, Mask, about 1890. Wood and paint; 4½ x 8½ x 11 in. Denver Art Museum: Native Arts acquisition fund, 1949.3641
Dimensionsheight: 4 1/2 in, 11.43 cm; width: 8 1/2 in, 21.59 cm; length: 11 in, 27.9400 cm
CollectionIndigenous 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 ProvenanceLieutenant Emmons, collected at Oweekago at the head of Rivers Inlet, 1921. Julius Carlebach, NY, before 1949; Denver Art Museum, 1949.