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Halibut Mask

Halibut Mask

Bryon Amos has been a sculpture, mask maker, also an ivory carver since the age of 9. His father the late Walter T. Amos was also a famous mask maker originating from Nunivak Island. Bryon Amos waited 8 years before replicating his father’s masks made from wood. It is his heritage to keep the family tradition within the family lineage of ancient traditions passed down from generation to generation.

In the ancient times the wood was found from the shores of Nunivak Island, the wood was a highly special commodity for the people. The paint of the masks was made from red ochre rock, mixed in seal blood. The black was also a charcoal rock mixed in seal blood, the white paint originated four feet beneath the ground as white clay, the string used is original walrus sinew.


The Halibut mask is a mask made from white spruce wood. The inner wood ring represents the earth, also the outer wood rings the universe. The walrus head in the middle of the halibut was highly configured as a very respected mammal. It provided the necessary tools, material, and food for the people in the ancient times. The skin of the walrus was used for the covering of Eskimo kayaks, sole for the skin boots, rope for the harpoons, fish lines, etc.


The top piece of the masks presents a puffin head with a minnow in the mouth as its food source. The front flippers of the walrus, the wings of the puffin, the actual walrus design on the side of the mask. Then the webbed feet of the puffin also the rear flippers of the walrus, then the walrus tail. The mask in itself represents why the mask was made, the abundance of the halibut was a necessary food source for the people in the ancient times, and is still a food source for the people in this present time.

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