19th-20th c Native American Tlingit Sculpture
(active 18th c ? - present)
Northwest Coast. United States.
Tulsa. Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art.
By understanding the visions and activities of the shamans, we are in a better position to understand the meaning of the elaborate costumes and masks they often wore. This shaman mask, made by the Tlinget people of British Columbia in the shape of a bear, represents a link to the old Paleolithic bear cult. The bear was a powerful totem, and by means of the mask and visionary ecstasy, the shaman assumed the power of the bear and could use it to aid the community.
TLINGIT | Bear Mask | 19 c-20 c | Native American | Tlingit