Object Name: Mask
Culture: Kasaan Haida
Place of Origin: Alaska, United States
Date/Era: Circa 1875
Dimensions: H: 58.40 cm, W: 67.30 cm, D: 17.00 cm (H: 23 in, W: 26.5 in, D: 6.7 in)
Medium/Materials: Wood, graphite, paint, wool, synthetic fabric, metal, cotton cord
Credit Line: Fowler Museum at UCLA. Gift of the Wellcome Trust.
Accession Number: X65.4280
The visual arts serve to evoke the spiritual and social realms of Haida life, assert identities, and legitimate status, prestige, and family histories. Representations of the supernatural include the transformations of animals into humans and back. Animals may include the Raven and Eagle, the two Haida moieties, as well as images associated with individual lineages. Designs adorned these images, known as crests, to mark identity and status. Historically crests could be used only by their rightful owners, the families who controlled land and resources. They were prominently displayed on clothing, dance screens, and masks at important events known as potlatches, which required elaborate feasting and gift giving, as well as the display of lineage crests.
Source: Gallery text, Intersections: World Arts, Local Lives, 2006.
See also: Marla C. Berns, World Arts, Local Lives: The Collections of the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Fowler Museum, Los Angeles, 2014.