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Tlingit Shaman Figure Of A Bound Witch

Maori Feather Box, 18th Century, Oceania - New Zealand

H: 10 ¾”



This Tlingit Shaman Figure of a Bound Witch is a remarkable piece of Native American Art that has been well-preserved over the years. Its original color and patina have been maintained thanks to minimal handling. The previous owner, Walter Koerner, cherished the piece so much that he kept it near his bed on a table. After his passing, the figure was sold to a prominent dealer and collector of Native American Art, George Terasaki. From there, Canadian art dealer Donald Hellis acquired the figure and eventually sold it to Brant Mackly in Santa Fe. Tambaran Gallery acquired this exquisite piece from the above. Similar figures can be found in the book "Tangible Vision" on pages 92, 271, and 320. Please refer to the attached images for comparison. This Tlingit Shaman Figure of a Bound Witch is a true gem and a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Native American Art. Shamans, sorcerers, and witches share similar capabilities. They can transform themselves into animals and birds while entering into a trance. However, bad witches who practiced evil by casting spells and manipulating personal belongings such as hair, nail clippings, and uneaten food into bundles were expelled from their community as they posed a danger.  Witches did not cut their hair. During their trials, bad witches were bound from head to hand behind their backs by their long hair, and to cleanse, they were thrown into the water. If they did not drown, they were rescued and considered cleansed of evil but banished from their community forever.