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GLORY REMEMBERED: Wooden Headgear of Alaska Sea Hunters by Lydia T. Black (Alaska StateMuseums/Univeristy of Washington Press: $24.95).

March 22, 1992|CHARLES SOLOMON

Although it must rank among the year's most obscure books, "Glory Remembered" documents an intriguing and little-known area of ethnic art. The structure of these wooden helmets suggests that they were orignally designed to reduce the glare from the ice and northern seas. Black's text, which focuses on the iconography of the decorations and her theories about the supernatural powers she believes the wearers ascribed to the helmets, is obviously aimed at art historians and anthropologists. General readers will find it overly technical, but the appeal of the boldly carved and colored helmets transcends scholarly rhetoric.

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