False Face Masks are considered to be living and breathing “faces” that carry a spirit’s presence with them. The masks are typically used in healing ceremonies to bring relief from health afflictions. There is a False Face Society among the Iroquois tribes and those who are cured with the help of False Faces automatically become members. Believers in traditional Iroquois thought do not believe or call these False Faces “masks” as they believe the faces are inhabited by living representations of spirits. False faces are even “fed” with a cornmeal “mush” and they accept gifts of tobacco for healing illnesses.
Iroquois legend has it that the beginning of the False Face Mask tradition came about because the “Creator,” “God,” “Divine Supreme Being,” whichever name you elect to use, encountered a stranger once, known in the Onondaga language as “Grandfather.” The Creator challenged Grandfather in his ability to move a mountain. … Read More