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False Faces

by Gerald Musinsky
This English term, coined by the 17th century British colonials in North America, refers to masks and the making of masks: Gagosha among the Seneca, Hadu among the Onandoga, Gaguwara by the Mohawk. The reference also applies to certain tribal groups, the Faces Society. Each mask has a name associated with a particular mythic persona and are used in various healing rituals and ceremonies. Shagodyowehgowah or "Great Protector" is the head of all the False Faces. Anyone cured of a False Face illness is initiated into the society that aided in the cure.

[Northeast Woodlands, British term]


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