Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Duiker Antelope mask (Wan-nyaka)

Duiker Antelope mask (Wan-nyaka)

Masks keep direct lines of communication open between families and the totemic animal that shares their life force. In one village, a small antelope led the founding ancestor to a water hole when he was lost in the bush. The family stopped hunting antelope forever and created a mask that escorted their deceased elders to their grave.

Wood, pigment
5 3/8 x 21 1/8 x 4 5/8 in. (13.6 x 53.6 x 11.7 cm)
Gift of Katherine White and the Boeing Company
Provenance: [Berkeley Galleries, London, England]; purchased from gallery by Katherine White (1929-1980), Seattle, Washington, 1964; bequeathed to Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, 1981
Now on view at the Seattle Art Museum


Exhibition HistoryCleveland, Ohio, Cleveland Museum of Art, African Tribal Images: The Katherine White Reswick Collection, July 10 - Sept. 1, 1968 (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania Museum, Oct. 10 - Dec. 1, 1968). Text by William Fagg. Cat. no. 39 (as Bird Mask).

Los Angeles, California, Frederick S. Wight Art Gallery, University of California, African Art in Motion: Icon and Act, Jan. 20 - Mar. 17, 1974 (Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, May 5 - Sept. 22, 1974). Text by Robert Farris Thompson. No cat. no., p. 137, reproduced fig. G-9 (as mask).

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

Learn more about Equity at SAM