Angakkuq (transformative mask) – 36×48 Oils on Canvas

The Yup’ik and the Inuit believe their shamans, called Angakkuq, have the power to assume different forms. the power of flight is achieved by transforming into a bird. transformation is achieved by wearing elaborate robes and masks that resemble local birds. at the end of the flight, the bird would reach up and grasp it’s beak, pulling it up and over the head transforming back into a human angakkoq. the masks range from wooden carved and painted masks to more mechanical masks that show transformation in further detail. I chose to show the point the mask is lifted, revealing half shaman and half bird. his mask is based on historic masks of the Yup’ik.

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