Rare Eskimo shaman mask sells for record-breaking $2.5 million

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Facial protrusions that look like hands; dangling sticks and feathers; a wide and mischievous grin: It's no wonder this rare Eskimo shaman's mask was so precious to the Surrealists.

And now a price has been put on the value of the Donati Studio Mask -- it was sold for over $2.5 million Thursday to a U.S. collector.

It breaks the previous record for indigenous U.S. art sold at public auction, said a spokesman for the Winter Antiques Show in New York, where the mask was sold.

A second mask sold for more than $2.1 million to another private buyer from the United States.

The late 19th century Donati Studio Mask was discarded by its original Yup'ik Eskimo maker once its part in a ritualistic dance was over. Surrealist painter and sculptor Enrico Donati added it to his collection in 1945.

The mask remains today one of the best-known and rarest shamanistic masks of the Yup'ik, an Alaskan indigenous people....

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