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Title: Mask
Date: c.1875
Culture: Yup'ik
Medium: wood, pigment, and feathers
Dimensions:
including feathers: 16 1/4 x 17 1/2 in. (41.3 x 44.5 cm)
Credit Line: Friends Fund
Object Number: 198:1980
Place made: Lower Yukon River, Alaska, United States
Current Location: On View, Gallery 326
Notes:
The elegant simplicity and daring asymmetry of this ovoid mask are characteristic of masks from the Inuit settlement of St. Michel on the south side of Norton Sound in western Alaska. The Bering Sea Eskimos developed a reciprocal relationship with the animals they hunted: the animals allowed some of their numbers to be hunted as long as humans respected the spirits of the creatures they killed. Although this mask was worn at the winter dances when it was included in the entertainments for the human community, its primary function was to engage and please the spirits of game animals.
Provenance
- 1931
Blackmore Museum, Salisbury, UK [1]

1931 -
Harry G. Beasley, England, UK, purchased from the Blackmore Museum [2]

- 1980
Shango Galleries (John A. Buxton), Dallas, TX, USA

1980 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Shango Galleries (John A. Buxton) [3]


Notes:
[1] Page titled "Blackmore Museum" from ledger for February 1, 1931. Beasley Archives, Centre for Anthropology, British Museum, London, UK [copy in Doc File].

[2]See [1]; label on verso.

[3] Invoice from Shango Galleries dated May 6, 1980 [SLAM document files]; Minutes of the Acquisitions and Loans Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, June 6, 1980.
Exhibition History
Title: Masks: Faces of Culture
Date: October 9, 1999 - September 17, 2000
Venue: Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Venue: The Field Museum
Venue: Saint Louis Art Museum
Publication History
Title: Masks: Faces of Culture and Member Events
Periodical Title: Saint Louis Art Museum Magazine
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Native North American Art
Periodical Title: The Saint Louis Art Museum Bulletin
Author: Janet Catherine Berlo
Author: John W. Nunley
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Masks: Faces of Culture
Year Published: 1999
Title: Calliope's Sisters: A Comparative Study of Philosophies of Art
Author: Richard L. Anderson
Title: Saint Louis Art Museum: Handbook of the Collection
Editor: Mary Ann Steiner
Publisher: Saint Louis Art Museum
Title: Masks Programs
Periodical Title: Saint Louis Art Museum Magazine
Edition: October - December
Year Published: 1999
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