Native America

How good is this Iroquois mask?

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Iroquois Indian

Q: The source identified it as “Iroquois Blind Man” mask. I wonder if you have any additional insight on it?  Paul, 525

A: They have been selling these in reservation souvenir shops for many years. Very popular with collectors of Native American material, this Iroquois mask seems especially true to the traditional form. The materials are perfect and the carving quality is excellent. B+

 

4 Comments

  • stephen

    I concur.
    Not one I’ve seen before, but the attention to detail is well above the majority of masks carved since the 80’s.
    This may be earlier but I’d need to see the back and outer side rims to check for Irocraft artist ID numbers or signature.
    Not that those are always there……

  • Susan E.

    I would add a note of caution, because masks without holes for mouth, eyes and/or nostrils might indicate the following: 1., mask was not used in ceremony nor put onto a human face for use but were rather designed more for decoration and 2., to not take the time to carve out the holes might indicate a shortcut, pointing again towards tourist/decorative material.

    That said, there are many wonderful artisans who craft incredible masks that are not in the category of masks “to be worn.” And many are one-of-a-kind. And they are often, indeed, “Art” with a capital A. But just be aware of what the materials are telling you. This note is from an artist, not from a collector of masks per se. Thanks for listening.

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