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Fowler Museum at UCLA

Tsimshian "Mask"

Tsimshian "Mask"

Regular price $479.00 USD
Regular price Sale price $479.00 USD
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From: Fowler Museum at UCLA
Limited Edition: 15
Exhibition: Intersections: World Art/Local Lives
Material: Printed 2-ply vinyl
Dimensions: 35" x 96" (88cm x 243cm)

Hanging Hardware Included


Masks are often used to hide and deceive. But masks can also be used to entertain and exalt. The Tsimshian peoples of the Pacific Northwest chose the latter, using masks in ceremonies and rituals to invoke spirits and look towards the future. 15 banners are now available featuring just such a mask. The broad features and bright details of the mask stand out on a stark black background, creating a banner sure to add impact to any space.


The Tsimshian peoples of British Columbia and Alaska are closely related to the other Northwest Coast Native Americans such as the Haida and Tlingit. Their ancient history, art, and livelihoods overlap and intersect through time. Mainly involved in fishing and forestry, the Tsimshian are also famed for their artwork. They created many ceremonial items like masks, rattles, and totem poles and also excelled in crafts such as weaving baskets and textiles.

A carved Tsimshian ceremonial mask from the late 19th or early 20th century looks out from this banner. Floating on a black background, the mask comes alive with its graphic design elements painted in vibrant pigments of black, red, and yellow. The mask, used during memorial rites, may depict a shaman, its bulging eyes alluding to his ability to see into the future. The mask would have been worn during a performance telling the story of particular spirits, and its graphic markings would further enhance a tale of transformation.

Below the image of the mask, white text reads "Fowler Museum at UCLA". The other side of this banner is a deep red with white text that reads “Intersections/World Art/Local Lives” and in small black print ”opens 9/30/06”.


These banners were displayed around Los Angeles, California to promote the exhibition Intersections: World Art/Local Lives at the Fowler Museum at UCLA. The ongoing exhibition features works from the Fowler’s permanent collection.

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