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Lot 0611
**Originally Listed At $1000**

Native American, Pacific Northwest Coast, possibly Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwakiutl) or Haida people, ca. mid 20th century CE. A large articulated cedar doll with a mask-like face that bears the features of a mythical spirit, called "gagiid" by the Haida. The figure has long limbs, each articulated where it meets the torso and at the knee/elbow. Large, round-ended dowls hold the joints together and allow remarkably free movement. The painted face, with its blue-green color, large red mouth, and huge black eyebrows, is complimented by large abalone shell inlays forming eyes. Long black hair sprouts from the top of the head in wild bunches, further contributing to the wild appearance of the gagiid. The rest of the body is unpainted aside from the nipples, which are red. The figure wears a woven skirt, a red cloth around the chest, and a beaded necklace. Size: 6.9" L x 12.4" W x 48" H (17.5 cm x 31.5 cm x 121.9 cm)

In Pacific Northwest mythology, the gagiid is a castaway who wanders the shoreline, ultimately becoming crazed and eating sea urchins without removing the quills. The gagiid is depicted, as here, with a blue-green face, portraying a person who has narrowly escaped drowning. The grimacing mouth references the sea urchin quills embedded in the inside of the cheeks. Masks, puppets, and dolls were traditionally used in secret society dances to represent wild spirits; these dances began to disappear in the 1870s with the arrival of Christian missionaries, but their artist traditions live on in 20th (and now 21st) century artwork.

Provenance: private Newport Beach, California, USA collection

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Small chips and nicks commensurate with age. A rich matte patina is on the wood. Red cloth and the beaded necklace are probably not original to the piece and appear to be newer.

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20th C. Kwakwaka'wakw / Haida Articulated Wood Female

Estimate $1,500 - $2,250
$6500 bids
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Artemis Gallerybadge TOP RATED
Louisville, CO, USA