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Faces of the Forests

by Gerald Musinsky
Faces of the Forests were essentially the visions of disembodied heads and long hair that appeared to drift or sway through the trees. These faces were not malevolent spirits and meant no harm to those encountered. They often requested simple gifts of food or tobacco. Not having any namesake or specific persona, the faces later offered healing powers and medicine through dreams in exchange for feasts held in their honor, with the offerings of tobacco and medicine songs. Masks and dance rituals were also provided by the Faces for performance at these feasts. Faces have an exclusive language of nasal grunts and intonations and heal through the blowing of ashes, that they can pick up without suffering burns from the hot embers.

[Northeast Woodlands, Iroquois, et al]


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