Native Arts acquisition fund
Haida artist. Mask. about 1850. Native Arts acquisition fund. 1953.406.
Dimensionsheight: 5.25 in, 13.3350 cm; width: 7.25 in, 18.4150 cm; length: 9 in, 22.8600 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 ProvenanceWalter C. Waters (Bear Totem Store), Wrangell, AK; Mrs. Mabel Waters (Bear Totem Store), Wrangell, AK, before 1952; University of Washington, Seattle, Seattle, WA, 1953; Denver Art Museum, 1953.