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Nepcetaq Mask

Artist Culture
Wood, pigment, and feathers
Made in
Alaska, Arctic and Subarctic, United States, North and Central America
Masks, wood
Current Location
On View, Gallery 326
10 1/2 in. x 25 in. (26.7 x 63.5 cm)
central head element: 8 1/2 x 6 3/4 x 2 3/4 in. (21.6 x 17.1 x 7 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Margaret Cohen Voss and Bernhard Voss
Public Domain
Object Number
A Yup’ik artist from Alaska gracefully manipulated wood and paint to show a powerful vision. In the central carving an "angalkuq" (shaman) stares intently through two bentwood rings, which represent layers of the universe. As mediators between worlds shamans have the ability to travel beyond the everyday realm. Feathers and wooden carvings of hands, feet, fish, and a bird radiate beyond the second, outermost ring. With hands and legs matching the tone of his face the angalkuq seems to reach across the boundaries of the world. He touches that which we cannot see, the inner life of all things.
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