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Effigy of Medicine Man, North West Coast America, 1867-1900

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The Haida people of North West Coast America believe shamen can cure disease, control animals and communicate with the spirit world. This wooden effigy is of a shaman or ‘medicine man’ (a Sah-gah). It was created by the Haida. He holds a small head in his right hand and its nose is pierced with animal bone. The Shaman is decorated with an animal crest. This is common in Haida artwork. It reflects the community the artwork is affiliated with. Many cultures use effigies of shamen or medicine men to invoke their power for protection or healing.

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Related Themes and Topics



Glossary: statue

A sculpture in the round representing human or animal figures or small figure groups; a statuette is a smaller sculpture.

Glossary: medicine man

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