Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Ancient Eskimo Mask Returned To Community

King Island in Alaska was a former Inupiat Eskimo community and was abandoned about 40 years ago. There are still some crumbling homes still perched on stilts there but not much else remains. Recently, Marilyn Lewis contacted the relocated King Island Eskimo community and told them that she had an ancient Eskimo mask a relative brought home more than a century ago. On the back was a faint inscription: "Taken from a medicine man's grave on King Island."

Marilyn said she wanted to return the ancient Eskimo wooden mask to its rightful owners. Two weeks later, Marilyn traveled from Washington state to hand deliver the old Eskimo artifact. It is now on display at the Carrie M. McLain Memorial Museum in Nome, Alaska.

For interesting facts about masks, see Native Masks. Free Spirit Gallery also has some nice collector's Northwest Native Masks.

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