Iroquois Art

Iroquois art like many forms of art tends to represent the beliefs of its creators and the heritage of the creators people. Each piece of art carries with it the history and in many cases the legend in which their lives and beliefs are based. Some such Iroquois art pieces include the faceless (no-face) doll, which is the origin of the cornhusk dolls popular amongst children of the settlers. The faceless doll carried the legend of one of the three sisters of the Iroquois, Corn, Beans, and Squash. The corn spirit had a doll made from her husks by the creator and she eventually became so concerned with her vanity that the creator took her reflection to teach her a lesson. The lesson behind this is that appearance isn't everything!

There are also several mediums used for Iroquois art. Some pieces are paintings upon pottery which archeologists have been able to uncover, other pieces are carved upon wood or soapstone. Some art, such as the dream catcher, is created from sticks, leather, and sinew used as the string that creates the web. The dream catcher is believed to help bring good dreams and keep away nightmares. Other such legends are of the maiden in the mist at Niagara Falls, which has been portrayed in sculptures, the legend tells of 5 sisters who would bathe in the flowing river, one ventured out to far and was carried off over the falls and now appears in the mist at the base of the falls. The Iroquois art being created today still carries with it the traditions of old. The modern day Iroquois may use modern tools but their creations bring the legends of their ancestors to us today and give us further insight into their people and their ways of life.