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Dance Ornament

Southwest Alaska

ca. 1880

wood, paint
width: 13" 
length: 9 ½"

Inventory # E4308



Private collection, Philadelphia

Related Examples

This bird/human dance ornament appears to be one of a pair, the other collected by Johan Adrian Jacobsen in 1883 at Golovin Bay near Norton Sound or at Ekusak near Goodnews Bay, now in the Museum Fur Volkerkunde, Berlin, Cat. No. IVA3119

Jacobsen’s collection notes state: “probably [representing] the spirit of an ancestor. During the Feast for the Dead, the bird was lowered from the roof of the qasgiq by a rope as soon as a new guest entered through the opening located in the middle of the floor as if to great the new guest” (Riordan 1996)

See: Fienup-Riordan, Ann. The Living Tradition of Yup'ik Masks. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1996, pg. 169 (lower)

National Museum of the American Indian, Cat. No. 9/3435 – See: Ibid, pg. 130

National Museum of the American Indian, Cat. No. 9/3440 – See: Ibid, pg. 97