VanStone (1968/9) illustrates a marionette head of similar form from Point Hope, which is probably nineteenth century. However, this damaged head with forehead and cheek tattoo marks could be considerably older, possibly even Punuk. A groove around the face may have been to secure a parka-type costume; wooden labrets are pegged in at the corners of the mouth. Marionettes were used in winter rituals to dramatise dances and myth re-enactments.
Steven Hooper, 1997
Entry taken from Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection, Vol. 2: Pacific, African and Native North American Art, edited by Steven Hooper (Yale University Press, 1997) p. 252.
Formerly belonging to Captain K. A. Webster.
Purchased by Robert and Lisa Sainsbury from K. J. Hewett in 1953.
Donated to the Sainsbury Centre, University of East Anglia in 1973 as part of the original gift.
Not on display
Title/Description: Male Head
Born: 1800 - 1899
Object Type: Figure
Measurements: h. 105 x w. 55 x d. 34 mm
Accession Number: 114
Historic Period: c. 19th century
Production Place: Alaska, North America, Point Hope (?), The Americas
Credit Line: Donated by Robert and Lisa Sainsbury, 1973