Tuesday, December 7, 2010

How are masks made?

The Yup'ik masks were carved by men or women, but mainly were carved by the men. They were made during the winter because during the summer is when the wood was collected on the shores. Masks were carved and stained with clay from the earth. Decorations were also added that included teeth, beads, animal hides, feathers and possible other organic materials.
With the stories that the masks represented, it also meant a lot of different decorations. Masks could be as small as 3 inches long, or as heavy as 20 pounds and had to be held up by a handful of people.
The shamans were the ones that told the carvers how to make the masks. Although they were being told how to make it, they usually added their own imagination into it. Those types of carvers were chosen because they were known for making beautiful masks.

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