Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

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giyema “mask, mask ceremony”
Language: Deg Xinag

Anvik had a big kashim [ceremonial house]…the place where they dance. We’ve got one up there now too that we use.

—Phillip Arrow, 2004

Communities along the lower Yukon River held winter ceremonies to communicate with the spirits of their world. The Deg Hit’an are the only Athabascans with a tradition of masked dancing, which continues in modern form. This late 19th century mask is a face within a face; the outer one a black raven, the inner one a person-like spirit or owl.

Culture: Athabascan
Region: Lower Yukon River, Alaska
Village: Anvik
Object Category: Ceremony
Dimensions: Width 32cm
Accession Date: 1916
Source: J. E. Standley (seller)
Museum: National Museum of the American Indian
Museum ID Number: 057929.000