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Old 06-29-2006, 06:21 AM   #1
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Iroquois Mask Destined For Storage

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FROM: THE BRANTFORD EXPOSITOR NEWSPAPER

_http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/webapp/sitepages/content.asp?contentid=88693
&catname=Local+News&classif=News+%2D+Local_
(http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/web...classif=News+-
+Local)

Iroquois Mask Destined For Storage

By Elizabeth Yates, expositor staff
Local News - Wednesday, June 28, 2006 @ 01:00

After more than half a century grinning at downtown passersby, the massive
Iroquois mask at the Pine Tree Native Centre is moving indoors.

With the native agency no longer operating, its building at 25 King St. has
been sold. And, after much discussion, the eye-catching False Face mask which
has adorned the historic two-storey edifice will be placed in storage.
Friday morning, it will be removed by a crane and then driven by flatbed truck to
Kanata Native Village. There are no plans for it to be displayed.

“We took it to the airwaves,” said Ralph Summers, first-vice president of
the board of directors for the Pine Tree Native Centre and Kanata.

(http://network.realmedia.com/RealMed...ia/ron/roc/ss/[PAGE]/1310679440/x18/247Canada/2006-319-Microsoft-chBus-Box/2005-775-
Microsoft-Wired-Box.Redir.html/39386133363430653434323564663130?http://bs.serv/
ing-sys.com/BurstingPipe/BannerRedirect.asp?FlightID=110798&Page=&PluID=0&Pos=
7193)
“We went on CKRZ (the Six Nations’ radio station) and put out the message
that we wanted to hear from people what they wanted to be done with it.”

Some respondents said it should be left there, others called for it to move
to Kanata; there were even suggestions it should be taken to the native
protest site in Caledonia.

But having what is considered a sacred object mounted on a public building
has always been controversial for the native community. Handled only by select
members of society, these masks are used to ward off evil spirits and heal
the sick.

“They are very sacred in our culture,” said Summers, a member of the Oneida
Nation of the Thames who lives in Brantford and is married to a woman from
Six Nations. “It is even an issue with some members of our board, who believe
the masks should not be displayed or handled in public.”

So, for now, the mask will be stored on Kanata’s Mohawk Street property.

Measuring 15 feet high by 12 feet wide, the papier mache object was first
created in the early 1950s for an exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum called
The Many Faces of Man. It came to Brantford in 1952 and spent 44 years
gracing the facade of the Brant County Museum on Charlotte Street. In 1972, it was
reinforced with fibreglass by local artist George Wale. When the museum
underwent exterior renovations, the mask moved to King Street in August 1996.

Friday’s removal will be one of the board’s last acts on behalf of the
10-year-old centre, which closed late last year after mounting financial
pressures created a debt and mortgage load totalling $500,000.

The sale of the building, which dates to 1914 and once housed city hall,
fetched “a pittance,” said Summers, who wouldn’t disclose the price. It will be
turned over to new owners in July.
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