The Historical past and Use of False Face Masks Among the many Seneca

False Face Masks are thought-about to be residing and respiratory “faces” that carry a spirit’s presence with them. The masks are usually utilized in therapeutic ceremonies to carry aid from well being afflictions. There’s a False Face Society among the many Iroquois tribes and people who are cured with the assistance of False Faces robotically change into members. Believers in conventional Iroquois thought don’t consider or name these False Faces “masks” as they consider the faces are inhabited by residing representations of spirits. False faces are even “fed” with a cornmeal “mush” and so they settle for presents of tobacco for therapeutic sicknesses.

Iroquois legend has it that the start of the False Face Mask custom happened as a result of the “Creator,” “God,” “Divine Supreme Being,” whichever identify you have chose to make use of, encountered a stranger as soon as, identified within the Onondaga language as “Grandfather.” The Creator challenged Grandfather in his means to maneuver a mountain. Grandfather made the mountain shake and rumble however was unable to maneuver it. The Creator mentioned Grandfather had some energy however not sufficient energy to maneuver the mountain. The Creator then moved the mountain to show his means to Grandfather. The Creator advised Grandfather to not look behind him when the mountain moved, however Grandfather was curious and when he turned to look, the mountain struck Grandfather within the face and left his face damaged and smashed.

The Creator then employed Grandfather to guard his kids however he knew the sight of Grandfather’s damaged face would scare the youngsters, so Grandfather was exiled to the forests and underground caves. To at the present time, sightings are reported of a lone determine, clothed in regal Iroquois apparel, peering from behind the timber of the forest. He’s mentioned to have lengthy hair and both a purple or black face. He solely leaves the confines of the woods when known as upon to heal or interpret desires. He’s now known as “Previous Damaged Nostril.”

To make a False Face, an Iroquois man walks among the many timber of the woods till he feels impressed to carve a specific spirit’s face from a specific tree. The spirit needing the face carving stirs the soul of the Iroquois man and strikes him with what to carve. He carves the consultant face mask immediately into and on the tree. The mask is barely faraway from the tree when it’s completed. Basswood is the kind of tree most frequently used. If the carving of the mask was begun within the morning, the Iroquois paints the face purple. Whether it is begun within the afternoon, the colour of alternative for the Iroquois is black n95 face mask.

The masks are given lengthy flowing hair from horses: black, brown, reddish brown, white, or grey. Earlier than European settlers introduced horses to Native American lands and launched them to the Iroquois, the Iroquois used buffalo hair and corn husks to adorn the masks. The eyes are set deep within the face and emphasised with items of steel. The noses are all the time made bent and crooked to honor “Previous Damaged Nostril.” The masks are constructed to hold tobacco pouches on their foreheads to obtain fee for companies rendered.

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