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False Face Medicine Masks


Fasle Face Medicine Masks are usually carved out of a live tree, preferably basswood or pine. If the tree survives the mask will have the power to cure. The most common mask styles are: Broken Nose, Whistler, Blower, Doorkeeper, Spoon-Mouth, Whirlwind, Old Broken Nose, Moving-Tongue, Discipline, Smiler, Wolf, Frowner, Smallpox, Gajesa, and Longnose. Masks are named either for their function or for their description.

The Whistler whistles to keep away the evil spirits. The Blower represents the benevolent westwind. The Gajesa is a derivative of the Blower and is made from braided cornhusk.

The doorkeeper guards the entrance to the longhouse during the False Face ceremonies.

The lips of the Spoonmouth are shaped like spoons.

The Discipline has white man's features ans was used to frighten the children into behaving.

The Wolf is a contemporary version of the Bear mask. 

The Smallpox came into use when contact with the white man nearly wiped out the Iroquois population.

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