Woman's Portrait Mask


Not on view

Haida artists have long produced relatively naturalistic masks that may be portraits of individuals. In other cases, subjects are stylized representations of mythic ancestors. The abstract forms painted and incised on the forehead, cheeks, and around the mouth of this example represent tattoos or facial paint that identify this woman according to her family affiliations. The lower lip is distended and incised to indicate that it is penetrated by a large labret. Such lip ornaments were once the prerogative of older Haida woman of high rank.

Woman's Portrait Mask, Wood, paint, Haida

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