The Lure of the Labret: Haida Masks and Dolls Made for the Souvenir Market

In the 1820s American and British traders traveled to the Northwest Coast to procure sea otter pelts for the Chinese market. A secondary trade in ethnographic artifacts developed and Northwest Coast Indian artists created pieces specifically for sale to foreigners. Among the most extraordinary are a series of portrait masks and dolls made by a Haida master carver; two of each are in the collection of the Peabody Museum. Mary Malloy will introduce eleven masks and four dolls made by the same hand and depicting the same high-ranking Haida woman wearing a prominent labret in her lip.

The Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology at Harvard University presents the free lecture "The Lure of the Labret: Haida Masks and Dolls Made for the Souvenir Market" on Thursday, October 11, 2012 at the Geological Lecture Hall (24 Oxford St., Cambridge) at 6:00 PM. A reception will follow at the Peabody Museum (11 Divinity Avenue).

Mary Malloy is an Associate of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology. She also teaches in the Museum Studies program at Harvard and is Professor of Maritime Studies at the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole. She received a Ph.D. from Brown University and is the author of several books, including Souvenirs of the Fur Trade: Northwest Coast Indian Art and Artifacts Collected by American Mariners, and two novels.

 

Haida mask with lip-distending labret, Northwest Coast. PM 38-81-20/5293.

"The Lure of the Labret: Haida Masks and Dolls Made for the Souvenir Market" is Thursday, October 11, 2012 at 6:00 pm at the Geological Lecture Hall, 24 Oxford St., Cambridge.

Mary Malloy, Associate of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology

A public reception follows at the Peabody Museum, 11 Divinity Ave., Cambridge.

Public information: 617-496-1027