Iroquois Masks

The Iroquois Indians had a society of spiritual leaders and healers that they called “The False Face Society” These individuals were looked up to and they wore Iroquois masks. This particular group of the Iroquois tribe were always called upon when someone in the tribe would come down with an illness, and then the false face society would wear their Iroquois masks to help drive away the spirits of the illness. This was due to the fact that they believed everything was caused by spirits when someone came down with a strange illness or when someone started behaving erratically. These false face masks were also commonly referred to as “medicine masks” and there are many museums that have recovered some of these medicine masks from years ago. These Iroquois masks are taken very seriously by the people of the Iroquois tribes and they are considered extremely sacred.

Another unique aspect of the Iroquois masks is that they are all one of a kind with only one similarity, and that similarity is that every mask has a crooked nose. The crooked nose is to represent the “Great False Face” which is well known in Native American legends for driving the spirit of sickness away from an Iroquois longhouse full of American Indian people. One of the main reasons that the Iroquois masks are all unique is the fact that when a spiritual individual enters the False Face Society they have to hand make their own masks. There are a lot of rituals involved in making this sacred mask, and they have to do every part of it, including finding their own wood. When they found the tree they wanted to use they would speak to the tree and then perform some rituals with fire and tobacco. After this they would take the bark and wood and go into seclusion to create the mask. They would decorate these masks with all kinds of things from things like feathers and hair from the wild.