Dance Mask


Not on view

During the long, harsh winters in the Arctic, local people traditionally gathered indoors for celebrations of performance cycles. These featured feasts and masked dances in order to maintain harmony between the human, animal, and supernatural realms for the coming year. The masks worn by costumed dancers were often danced in pairs and represented a variety of animals, supernatural beings, and animal helpers. Humorous examples were also known, including caricatures of local personalities meant to entertain the spectators.

Dance Mask, Wood, paint, feathers, Yup'ik

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.