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Iroquois [archive]

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The homelands of the Iroquois (ir-uh-coy) includes the land from the banks of the Hudson River to the shores of Lake Erie. Best Known Feature: The most sacred tradition to the Iroquois Indians are the rituals involving the false faces or medicine masks. No two masks are ever the same. The creator always make them unique, but they all possess a crooked nose. This is to honor the fabled giant who, because of a loss of a challenge to the Creator, promised to protect the Creators people. The men who wear these masks are believed to have the power to ward off sickness because of a Seneca legend. It is said that the Spirit of Sickness tried to infect a longhouse of people. Before he had the chance to do so, the giant (Great False Face) appeared and scared him away.


Hunt, George T., The Wars of the Iroquois, University of Wisconsin; Wisconsin, 1940.

Time Life Books, Realm of the Iroquois, Time Warner. Inc.; Virginia, 1993.

Fenton, William N., The Iroquois Book of Rites, University of Toronto Press; Toronto, 1963.

Additional Reading

 Iroquois Native Americans
 Iroquois Languages
 Oneida Nation
 Seneca Nation
 New York Native Americans

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