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Title: Simple Identifier: ᵋYag·ᴇm / ’Yaga̱m Mask
Keywords: Object Type 1: Yᴇxwᴇmł / Ya̱xwa̱mł (dance mask)
Object Type 2:
Object Type 3:
Object Type (Other): NA
Subject Matter Keyword 1: ᵋYag·ᴇm / ’Yaga̱m
Subject Matter Keyword 2:
Subject Matter Keyword 3:
Subject Matter Keyword (Other):
Cultural Style 1: Nuuchahnulth
Cultural Style 2: Other
Cultural Style 3:
Cultural Style (Other): ᵋNᴇmg̩es / ''Namgis
Description: Colors 1: Black
Colors 2: White
Colors 3: Brown
Colors (Other):
Repository Narrative (English): Description: Mask representing Sea Monster or 'IAKIM'. Form of sea monster in masks is very variable. Large grotesque wooden head, face with broad nose and separate round bulging eyes, painted black and white. Fragments of mica stuck on the black. Movable lower lip with flap under chin and on back of head with black painted canvas appliques of same face. Bits of brown hair around top chin. Boas describes this mask as "the wide mouthed monster ts'egic which destroyed whole tribes." Remarks: Boas describes this mask as "the wide mouthed monster ts'egic which destroyed whole tribes". (Sapir register) "Large mask. Kwakiutl, Taktin. Fr. Boas. 1889." (G.S.C. ledger) "Large mask (Photographed for Dr. Boas) Taktin (Iakhim), Nimkol (Nimkish)." (Shuttles, W.; 1990) The caption below the photograph reads as follows: "Fig. 11. Masks, portraying creatures in Kwakiutl mythology and worn to recreate the accounts of ancestral encounters. a, Wolf who carries the novice of the Cannibal of the Ground to the house of the cannibal spirit, who initiates them. Twists of cedar bark portray scraggly hair and mane. Collected by George Hunt, Vancouver I., 1898. b, xwixwi, who said to shade the earth when he performs. His dance is held to be a certain means of bringing back the hamatsa initiate (Boas 1897: 497). Collected by D.F. Tozier, 1894-1907 (Cole 1985: 186, 219-220). c, zunug'wa, a wild woman who lives in the woods, who steals children, places them in her basket, and eats them. She is said to sleep most of the time. When she is awake, as in this mask, her mouth is pushed forward to make her cry of "U, hu, u, u" (Boas 1897: 372). Collected before 1949. d "VII-E-49", Iakim (yagem 'badness'; Boas 1897: 480), a water monster that obstructs rivers, endangers lakes and the sea, and swallows and upsets canoes. The sea is said to boil when he rises and all the tribes fear him. Masks portraying Iakim take many forms, as all versions of sea monsters are called by this term. The wooden head is painted in black and white, with fragments of mica on the black. The lower lip is movable. Collected by Franz Boas at Nimpkish Reserve, B.C., 1889." (used in Hamatsa dances) Attached Narrative: Mask of a sea monster ("Iakim"); the jaw is moveable and fragments of mica are stuck on the mask During traditional winter ceremonies, chosen people are initiated by supernatural beings. Each of these beings reveals itself in characteristic dances, songs, cries and behaviour acted out by the new initiate. The wolf power sought by the Nootka people is relatively mild, compared with the frenzy characterizing the cannibal bird-monster of the Kwakiutl people, or the Dog-eater spirit of northern tribes. But such a meeting with the non-human world is always a terrifying experience. Only high ranking and experienced masters can tame the most destructive powers, change them to a good use, and restore novices back from this world to a new life. During this time the whole village becomes a sacred place; and the community life is controlled by the initiates. Masked beings representing all the inhabitants of the sky; the sea, and the land participate in the ceremonies that precede and follow the sacred dances. Excerpt from exhibition text: The Children of the Raven, 1975 to 1986.
Notes: Additional measurements: Flap 7 x 15 in. Condition: 2011-12-07 / fragile / (Emily Lin, Conservator, 2011/12/07) losses to mica and paint; paint delaminating and flaking in areas
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Appears in Collections:Boas Wiki Data

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