Slipknot Shaman

Over at Live Science, Owen Jarus reports on a visually stunning and spooky mask recently discovered in Pennsylvania:

The lead archaeologist thinks the mask dates to about 900 AD and may have been used by a shaman. Other archaeologists think the mask may be more recent and aren’t sure whether it was a ritual or personal item.

Interpreting objects like this is always fraught with difficulty and in the absence of additional context, we are left to speculate. If I had to guess, I would say the mask was made and used by an aboriginal musician who presaged the appearance of Slipknot:

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5 thoughts on “Slipknot Shaman

  1. J. A. LeFevre

    Having been to a few of their shows, I think any shaman would be delighted to share the same audience engagement they command.

  2. J. A. LeFevre

    Ritual is to be observed, though to observe a ritual is not to watch from afar, but to engage it.

  3. J. A. LeFevre

    Took my (then) Swiss exchange student to one who observed that: In Europe, no one gets bloody in the mosh-pit. I suppose those atheists don’t go for full engagement. Later years, when my son was driving age, he chose to disengage himself at first blood (vigorous shoving and shoulder bumping, typically no fists).
    In Africa, where the tribesmen (ritually) carry their spears to town on the bus, at the dances (midnight, full moon) there is a lot of slapping and gentle shoving, but no blood. Violence is not recreation in their world.

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