Monday, November 10, 2008

Sugpiaq Masks of the Kodiak Archipelago

Currently in Anchorage, (Alaska) there is a Sugpiaq mask exhibit  at the downtown Rasmuson museum. (Exhibit closes Nov. 16) The masks on display are originally from the Aleutian region, however a Frenchmen by the name of Alphonse Pinart removed them. He was a     young explorer commissioned to explore the Archipelago and gather historic Native stories and artifacts. He kayaked along the Aleutian chain gathering these masks and creating an extensive collection. Afterwards Alphonse took these items back to France where they have been for the past time posted in a museum. After all this time people have begone to speculate on the morality of the masks resting place. Most people that are indigenous to Alaska believe that the masks should return to their "birth place," and to their original ethnic people. Some say that it simply isn't fair that Alaska Native Elders must travel across seas just to look at their own cultural history. Despite all the confrontation, the French museum has allowed its exhibit to travel to anchorage for a limited amount of time. 

here is a link to the Rasmuson Museum:http: //

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