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Post Lot Text
From a written assessment on the piece by Steve Brown: "Northwest Coast shaman's headpieces (of the type often referred to as "crowns") have been made of a variety of materials, with brown bear claws and mountain goat horns being those most commonly seen. While bear claws were used in most such headgear among the Tsimshian, it appears that mountain goat horns, or their equivalent, were the material of choice among Tlingit shamans. The "horns" of this headpiece are carved of wood in nearly exact imitation of the shape of the typical mountain goat horn examples...As is often the case, each of the humanoid faces sculpted here vary slightly in detail. Most likely intended to depict the kinds of spirits owned by the particular shaman, some of these faces differ more significantly among the group than others. Some have slightly open mouths while others have the pursed lips indicative of a singing spirit. A headpiece of this type would have traditionally been worn by a shaman during a curing ritual, though by the end of the 19th century their use appears to have become more widespread. Headpieces of this type can be seen in photographs from this period and later, worn by individuals among groups of dancers in essentially social ceremonies."