Notes: 82 / 2 years ago
This unusual figure represents a male with pronounced genitalia and emerging breasts. Among Siberian Chukchi, transgender male shamans were believed to be the most powerful. They were commanded by the spirits, sometimes female to shed all male pursuits and sexual manners at an early age when shamanistic inspiration first manifested itself. Canadian Inuit myth reveals that a transgender shaman created all women. This was directly associated with his ability to straddle the procreative nature of the sexes. A groove, perhaps representing a charm belt, encircles the waist. The shoulder/breast design is typically Punuk in style and could represent beads, tattoos, or clothing decoration.
Princeton University Art Museum