Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

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sagimaaqlux^ “mask”
Language: Unangam Tunuu (Eastern Aleut dialect)

And before they buried them, they stuffed them with grass and moss, then wrapped them all up. That’s where the mummies come from, and women started making burial masks for them.

—Mary Bourdukofsky, 2003

Ceremonial masks were preserved in caves in the Aleutian Islands, including one on Unga Island where human burials and mummies were also placed. This large Unga mask still has traces of paint and holes where carved ornaments were once attached.

Culture: Unangax (Aleut)
Region: Unga Island, Aleutian Islands, Alaska
Object Category: Ceremony
Object Type: Mask
Dimensions: Height 31.5cm
Accession Date: 1869
Source: W. H. Dall (collector)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E007604