Jacob Simenoff Aleut Bentwood Hat
This bentwood mask is painted red ochre color and black with traditional images of hunters and seals. It is adorned with what we believe to be walrus or sea lion whiskers. The hat presents a bird profile, and thus has painted birds eyes as well. Braided sinew strap, walrus tusk carvings of a bird and other shapes, and hematite plus other beads complete this package.
Bentwood hats were used traditionally by Aleut, or Unangax people on their ocean hunting baidarka voyages. The hat would shade the hunter’s eyes from the sun, and also hide the eyes from their sea mammal prey. There are few contemporary native makers of bentwood hats; the signature on this hat appears as Jacob Simenoff, 1997.
Hat is 16 in. long x 8 in. wide x 9 in. to the top of the whiskers.