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The LegendThe Creatorencountered astranger one day andchallenged him to acompetition of movingmountains. In thecontest, the strangercould only move themountain a smallamount. The Creatorthen started movingthe mountain withease, telling thestranger not to look
The LegendThe stranger tried torake a peek out ofcuriosity and themountain struckhim in theface, leaving itdisfigured. Thestranger was thenbanished to theundercaves andforests, only toappear whenhealing wasneeded.
Iroquois masks are made to be used inhealing rituals designed to invoke spirits.Impact of the Legend
The Iroquois have a “False Face Society” ofpeople who use ritual-like methods inmedicine and healing. Those who arecured by the society become members.
In recent years, people began making themasks just for profit, ignoring their culturalvalue and calling them artifacts.
The Iroquois didn’t like the masks to be soldfor profit so they banned all sales and tookall of the masks back.They refused to call the masks “artifacts”since the represent the spirit directly intheir culture.
Iroquois masksoften havedeep seteyes, bent andcrookednoses, andhair andtobaccoattached to thetop.
Masks are carved directly onto trees and areonly removed once they are completed.They are painted red if finished in thedaytime and black if finished at night.
Because themasks arecarved directlyinto livingtrees, they areconsidered bythe Iroquois tobe living andbreathing.