Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

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níijaangw “mask”
Language: Haida

The mask depicts a singing shaman who wears a nose ring, face paint, and crown of mountain goat horns. Haida shamans, both men and women, sought to cure sickness by extracting disease-causing spirits or objects from their patients’ bodies. Sometimes a cure required that they capture and restore a person’s wandering soul.

Culture: Haida
Region: Southeast Alaska
Object Category: Ceremony
Dimensions: Length 29cm
Accession Date: 1876
Source: John B. White (donor)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E021573