I Found An Art: Stone Carvings

walrus and false face

Art has been attracting the attention of my magpie eye lately. I picked up these injured stone carvings at the St. Lawrence Antique Market (two for $5 — they are damaged) two weekends ago. The Broken Nose man is from the Six Nations represents a False Face mask. The False Face Society is an Iroquois medicinal society and carved wooden masks are a big part of their medicine. Now non-Haudenasaunee and non-members are not supposed to have these masks, but this small, non-ceremonial stone version was made to be sold by artists of the Six Nations. Still, it is no mere tchotke — Longhouse people believe that these can protects them in times of need, redirecting fierce winds that threaten them and healing those who are ill. They must be respected.

Because I had a killer cold last week, Broken Nose and the Walrus were my bedside companions. I believe that this sea mammal sculpture hails from Cape Dorset, but it is unsigned and I’ve been wrong before. Anyway, there is something very powerful and healing about being surrounded by art and especially objects that you can hold in your hand.