Alderwood mask of a woman of high rank, possibly Djiláquons

Haida, around AD 1830
From British Columbia

With labret (lip plug) and painted crest design

This Haida mask proclaims the high status of the woman depicted, through the labret, or lip plug. European explorers such as Captain George Vancouver, in the 1790s, noted the authority of Native American women who wore such labrets. As leaders in matrilineal societies they would stand up in canoes and eloquently greet the strangers. While the Europeans did not understand the speeches, any more than they could comprehend the unusually high status of women, they avidly collected labrets, as well as masks of this type.

This particular mask may represent Djiláquons, one of the most important ancestors or patrons of the Eagle moiety (division) of the Haida people.

Find in the collection online

More information

Bibliography

J.C.H. King (ed.), Human image (London, The British Museum Press, 2000)

Dimensions

Height: 23.000 cm

Museum number

AOA Ethno 1986 Am18.150

ENA22921

Location

Find in the collection online


Related objects


Search highlights

There are over 4,000 highlight objects to explore