|Winter ceremonial mask, Cup'ig people of Nunivak Island|
Permanent Collection: Museum of Culture and Environment
The mask will be mounted in conjunction with the exhibition "Fashion Statement," curated by artist Anna Hoover, on T-shirts developed by Native Artists protesting Pebble Mine, which threatens the world's largest natural salmon fishery in Alaska's Bristol Bay. We'll display it adjacent to Salmon Woman, a magnificent large cedar sculpture by Anna's father, the late Aleut/Unangan artist John Hoover, which will be on loan to the Museum for Winter 2013.
As you can see in the attached image, the face mask is circled by two concentric rings, At least thirteen feathers project outwards.At the ends of the feathers are attached various small wooden elements, including many salmon, a bird, an otter, a human hand, and a human leg. Associated with the mask is a loose fish tail, which may also have been on a feather, or perhaps attached directly to a small hole to the right of the mask's mouth.
My draft signage for the mask is as follows, informed by Ann Fienup-Riordan's excelllent book, "Agayuliyararput Our Way of Making Prayer: The Living Tradition of Yup'ik Masks (University of Washington Press, 1996) and commentary by Aron Crowell of the Arctic Studies Center-Anchorage. I have also relied on the very helpful essay on Yup'ik and Cu'pig masks by John Oscar: