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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Rare Native American Eastern Woodlands Iroquois Seneca False Face Dance Mask"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
Traces of original red polychrome
Old worn smooth used patina
Mid 19th Century
Size: 23.5cm high, 13.5cm wide - 9¼ ins high, 5¼ ins wide
Ex American New York collection
cf: Peabody Museum, Salem No. E27945 for a similar example
Believed by the Iroquois to possess animal spirits, the masks were fed regularly and then carefully wrapped and placed face down when stored.
Amongst the five Hodenosaunee nations, or Iroquois, consisting of the Mohawks, Oneidas, Senecas, Cayugas and Onondagas, spiritual life was strong, pervasive and highly organised throughout their society. It included a priesthood of men and women, keepers of the Faith, who supervised religious rites and various secret organisations that performed the curing and other ceremonies. Like many native Americans, the Iroquois believed that the spirits of all humans were joined to those of the objects and forces of nature. In addition that a human’s own inner spiritual power, called ‘Orenda’ combated the powers of evil that could harm the individual as well as the rest of the people.