Alaska Native Collections – Sharing Knowledge

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giyema “mask, mask ceremony”
Language: Deg Xinag

Those have strong songs, they say – medicine.

—Phillip Arrow, 2004

Deg Hit’an men carved masks representing people, animals, and spirits that appeared to them in dreams. This mask portrays a woman with chin tattoos, red cheeks, a dentalium shell labret, and dentalium earrings. The surrounding circles, as on Yup’ik masks, symbolize levels of the sky with wooden plugs (some now missing) that indicate stars.

Culture: Athabascan
Region: Lower Yukon River, Alaska
Village: Anvik
Object Category: Ceremony
Dimensions: Width 70.0cm
Accession Date: 1880
Source: Edward W. Nelson (donor)
Museum: National Museum of Natural History
Museum ID Number: E045502