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Artefact of the day 13/8

August 14, 2013

Charlotta & maskThe artefact of the day was found by Charlotta in area B this afternoon, just when the area B crew was starting to loose faith in their site’s potential. It is a complete full size mask. Human-fox-maskIt is a transformation mask with a dual human/wolf – or fox – face. In view of yesterday’s find of a wolf – or fox – female transformation doll, we think this might be a woman’s mask. It is also the right size for a woman’s face, as the finder can verify. Masks were used for many different ceremonial purposes, and could be of different size and design. They connected humans to the spiritual world, but the specific meaning behind a mask related to the mask’s creator and was special to fox-womanhers or his story. Masks were powerful spiritual objects, and when a mask had served its purpose it was often broken or otherwise destroyed, it is therefore quite unusual to find complete masks. Masks were decorated with different attachment and bangles, such as carved animals, hands and feathers. We have found several mask attachments at the site in the last days, and a number mask fragments, but this is the first whole mask. It is possibly the oldest complete Yup’ik mask in existence. When cleaning the mask back in the lab, Rick detected traces of silver paint made out of ground mica, so when in use it would have glimmered in silver.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. Scott Timpany permalink
    August 15, 2013 12:03

    OMG you found the Mask!?! Try not to turn into a green faced cartoon-like character!

    • August 16, 2013 05:47

      Not to worry, that will not happen. Might turn into a fierce fox-woman tough…

  2. George Iman permalink
    August 31, 2014 21:14

    Does anyone know where the wood came from?

    • August 31, 2014 21:41

      It’s all drift wood – which is why we don’t use the wood for dating. It can be from anytime and (almost) anywhere (depending on currents)


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