World of Barbara, Article #3: Iroquois False Faces

This time I tackle the subject of “Iroquois False Face Masks.” These figure prominently into BARBARA REILLY, a historical fantasy in which a farm girl in 1948 discovers something truly magical relating to the Iroquois of the deeper past.

The masks of the Iroquois False Face Society and Corn Husk Society are a touchy subject for the Iroquois, and for me as well. Technically speaking, the Iroquois prefer that we do not even talk about them, let alone depict them in drawings or photographs, and unless connected to the societies, not make, possess, or sell them. This is understandable, since the masks are considered living beings and the attached rituals are part of a living process within Iroquois culture.

However, the BARBARA REILLY story – complete with masks — presented itself to me and bade me tell it. That makes me involved. In this new article I say something about them, after struggling with what that something should be.

I can say this has been an exciting process of my own, bringing this story to light, in its entirety – in a responsible manner – one respectful of the peoples it tells of – American Indians and others. All peoples and all histories deserve to be treated with respect by any writer of historical fiction or historical fantasy. By anybody, for that matter, writer or not.

Check out the article here.