Moon Mask

This mask depicting the moon was carved from Red Alder by Huna Tlingit Amos Wallace.

Amos carved a humanoid face to depict the moon and to distinguish this as the face of the moon he carved an aura to surround the face. Using Red Alder gives the mask durability and when carved while it’s green it carves easily taking great detail. Humanoid faces were often used to depict inanimate objects.

Cultural Narrative: 

Amos is a Tlingit T’akdeintaan artist from Hoonah, his Tlingit name was Jeet Yaaw Dustaa. Tlingits used the phases of the moon to mark seasonal events and the movement of the tides. Some Raven clans have taken the moon as one of their crests.

Dís (moon)

haat (tides)

Yeil (Raven)

Shéix’w (Red Alder)

Traditional Knowledge: 

Tlingits believed that the moon had a large affect on the actions and behaviors of living things and from that they named the month after the affect the moon was having on living things during that period of time.

Amos Wallace

Mask representing the moon made of carved and painted alder wood.

Acquired by Indian Arts and Crafts Board representatives in 1962 when the artist was employed during IACB arts and crafts
demonstrations at Juneau, Alaska; part of the IACB Headquarters collection (Department of the Interior, Washington, DC) until 2000 when it was transferred to NMAI.