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Heiltsuk mask
ca. 1880
Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada
Wood, paint
20 x 10 x 29 cm
D. F. Tozier Collection

Some potlatches were occasions for a host to impress his guests with lavish displays of wealth—for example, by pouring huge quantities of seal oil on the fire to make it blaze high. This mask is reported to depict a proud, chiefly guest who sat too close to such a fire and refused to move back until half his face burned away.

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