Native America

Iroquois false face mask

Q:  I’m 22 years old. I have been fascinated with masks all my life. Decided to study art oriented towards sculpture to make my own designs so for the last year I’ve been working with masks in parallel with the university. I’ve worked with papier mache and latex, made some replicas and some personal designs. I also collect masks. You wanted some more shots of my False Face piece, so here they are. what can you tell me about it?   Tomas, 1261

A:  The False Faces are masks carved from the living trunk of a tree.  These masks represent the strange, wild beings who inhabit the forests and rarely, only at particular times of celebration, make themselves known to their neighbors.  Some have specific identities, such as ‘Crooked Nose’ who had the chutzpah to challenge the Creator to a mountain moving contest and injured it when he quickly turned to find a mountain looking right over his shoulder.  Many are just anonymous zanies. This Crooked Nose is carved in an unusual manner and was probably done for collectors. I like it a lot. Check out http://www.forensicfashion.com/1830IroquoisFalseFace.html for more info.  B+

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