- Museum number
Human face mask, carved of alder with prominent and extremely emphatic features. The domed forehead is separated, by very long raised black painted eyebrows, from flat planes descending to eyes deeply set into ovals, painted white with cut out ovoids for sight. A large hooked nose flows into raised cheeks below the eyes, with a great exaggerated, non-realistic faceted and black-painted surround emphasising the red-painted mouth. This feature may have been designed merely to accentuate the mouth area, but it is also possible that it represents mouth of a skin being worn by individual with the red painted mouth. The area between the two mouths is painted white. The nostrils are lightly excavated, with a grommet of cedar withe [?] below. Teeth have been added across the open mouth, splints, with a horizontal painted line to indicate the join between upper and lower jaw teeth. Most are missing. The black second mouth seems also to turn into a beard, with a vertical addition down the chin axis. The mask is otherwise painted haematite [?] red, with two black dots on the forehead above the nose. The edge and upper sides of the mask are decorated with pegged bunches of human hair, mostly missing from the right side. The centre bunches are tied together with a length of seaweed or skin thong. The surface of the mask is nicely finished with knife/adze work, and the interior indicates the shape of the narrow bladed adze [?] used to excavate the face area. Perhaps the most interesting feature of the mask is that the grommet has nearly been eaten away by the wearer; furthermore there is an arc shaped area of dirt in the place where one would expect sweat and saliva to accumulate from the wearer. The shinyness at the the chin and lower jaw is likely to have arisen by handling post-collection.
- Production date
Height: 26 centimetres (without hair)
Width: 19.50 centimetres
Depth: 15 centimetres
- Curator's comments
- New description etc. by JCK, 11/6/1996.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2001-2021 1 Sep-21 July, BM Room 26; Gallery of North America, Case: "The Mowachaht of Vancouver Island"
- Poor: the left hand side has numerous vertical cracks. The surface is spongy and cracked, having been thoroughly wormed; many of the teeth and some of the hair is missing.
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number