Dance of the Forest Spirits Mask
Wood, Red Cedar; Raffia; Fabric, Cotton; String; Metal, Nails
Unidentified Atłak´ima (Dance of the Forest Spirits) Mask recorded as belonging to Harry Mountain from the Mamalilikala. The humanoid mask is whitewashed and has heavy eyebrows painted black and slightly opened lips that are painted red. Most of the mask appears to have black designs painted under the whitewash, suggesting that the mask was repainted and possibly recycled to fit an Atłak´ima character. A moustache is painted on the upper lip. This, combined with the bold carving structure of the face, the thick eyebrows and the large prominent nose indicate that the character may be male. The eyes are carved openings without eyelids, possibly indicating the creature as being less human in character than other forest spirit masks. There are remnants of red material attached around the rim of the face which appear to be the remains of a rigging system. There is also a stained cotton cloth that may have been the original backing to conceal the wearer’s face. Attached to the outer rim of the mask is raffia that would normally be alternating natural and red dyed cedar bark, indicating that the mask belongs to the T´seka or Winter Ceremonies.