Tlingit Maskette from the E. H. Harriman Expedition
PACIFIC NORTHWEST COAST OF NORTH AMERICA, 19TH CENTURY
Among the Tlingit, maskettes were an important component in a shaman’s healing practice, representing one of the spirits the shaman called upon to assist in curing the sick. Maskettes were often affixed to the headdresses worn by shamans, that were frequently made of bent splints covered with swan skins, at times with attached eagle tail feathers.
In 1899, wealthy railroad magnate Edward H. Harriman arranged for a maritime expedition to Alaska. Harriman brought with him an elite community of scientists, artists, photographers, and naturalists to explore and document the Alaskan coast. The Harriman Alaska expedition explored the coast of Alaska for two months, from Seattle to Siberia and back again.
Tlingit, Southeast Alaska ca. 1860–1880
Wood, red, black pigment, metal
Inscribed on the back "E. H. Harriman 274269 Alaska" in ink
Height: 3 1/4”
PRICE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST