|Q: I recently purchased this false face mask off of eBay. My guess is that it is likely one that is just a collectible piece of art due to the numbering. I was unable to find out what this numbering meant anywhere. My guess is that its some kind of number the artist put on them. I’ve seen multiple masks of this type with the numbers on the sides. I was told it came from a collection of Native American artifacts called “The Seagram Collection.” To me it looks a bit different than most of the false face masks I have seen! I have just begun to collect masks and this is one of the bigger purchases I have made. Blake, 1081
A: Thanks for the improved photos. They are excellent and show off this famous Indian mask quite well. The False Face Society is probably the best known of the medicinal societies among the Iroquois, especially for its dramatic wooden masks with long hair and shiny metal eyes. Yours is of good quality and is in perfect (new) condition.
Today the sale of these masks is discouraged. This is why your’s has not been signed. Some Iroquois who are not members of the False Face Society have produced and sold the masks to non-Native tourists and collectors. The Iroquois leadership responded to the commercialization of this tradition and released a statement against the sale of these sacred masks. They also called for the return of the masks from collectors and museums.