• Masked rituals of the Kodiak Archipelago

      Desson, Dominique; Black, Lydia T.; Pierce, Richard A.; Schweitzer, Peter P.; Morrow, Phyllis; Leer, Jeff (1995)
      The traditional culture of the Alutiiq speakers of the Kodiak Archipelago is not well known, and information on their spiritual and ritual life has been lacking. In this thesis I use ethnographic, ethnohistoric, and iconographic materials to investigate the Koniag traditional world view and belief system and some aspects of the Koniag ritual system. Specifically, I analyze the individual, private masked rituals associated with whaling and the public masked rituals performed during the winter festivals. In the second part, I examine a large sample of surviving Alutiiq masks in order to determine aesthetic canons evident in the work of 19th and 20th century Koniag carvers. Visual preferences in mask making in terms of construction, volumes, shapes, colors, and designs are defined and differences in those preferences between the three Alutiiq speakers' groups of the Kodiak Archipelago, Prince William Sound, and the Alaska Peninsula are discussed.