Period: 1830 ca Materials: Hardwood (possibly crabapple), wool, paint Dimensions:
The Tlingit mask (upper left) represents a woman and shows her wearing a labret, or lip ornament, in her lower lip. When a girl reached puberty her lower lip was pierced and a labret was attached. The large size of this labret is a sign of her high rank. The carved figure of a Haida woman (lower left) shows her with a similar piercing although the actual labret is missing. Her lavish red wool ear ornaments indicate her noble birth. The symbolism of the black and red face painting on the Nootka mask (upper right) is not specifically known but may relate to the level of initiation that the mask's owner had attained. The black lines across the eyes and down the forehead on the Mississippian jar (lower right) likely represent tattooing or face painting and refer to spiritual belief and devotion.
Provenance: (1) Ralph Velich. Omaha, Nebraska.; (2) George Terasaki. New York, New York.; (3) Private Collection.; (4) Eugene V. Thaw