IROQUOIS LEGEND OF THE FACELESS DOLL
I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July. I certainly did.
A few years ago, Bob and I visited the Oneida Nation Headquarters, in Oneida, New York (central New York). I must say it was one of the most enjoyable trips I’ve ever made. I ended up fascinated with Indian legends.
I’ve been in California and Kansas for the last six weeks for graduations and birthdays, so I decided to rerun one of my oldest blogs due to computer problems and traveling. I hope you enjoy the one I selected — Iroquois no-face doll that I extrapolated from a handout I received at the Oneida Nation Headquarters.
As the legend goes, the Corn Spirit was so thrilled at being one of the sustainers of life that she asked the Great Spirit if there was anything ‘veore she could do for her people. The Great Spirit told her that a doll could be formed from her husk. So, she made the doll and gave it a beautiful face. Then, the doll went from Indian village to Indian village and played with the children. Everywhere she went she was told how beautiful she was. So, it wasn’t long before she became conceited.
One day, the Great Spirit called to her. But, before she went into the Great Spirit’s lodge, she looked into a pool of water and admired herself, thinking how beautiful she was. The Great Spirit told her that if she kept thinking that she was better than everyone else a terrible punishment would come upon her, but he wouldn’t tell her what it was.
So, again the doll went from village to village playing with the Indian children and still everyone kept telling her how beautiful she was. It wasn’t long before she became conceited again. The Great Spirit called to her again and like the first time, she looked into the pool of water before the Great Spirit’s lodge to admire herself.
Upon entering the lodge the Great Spirit said to her, “I have given you one warning now a great punishment will come upon you.” But, he still wouldn’t tell her what it was. When she left the lodge she again looked into the pool of water to admire herself but this time she didn’t have a face. The Great Spirit had taken it away.
Since that time the Iroquois people do not put a face on the corn husk dolls. This is to remind children, never to think they are better than anyone or a punishment as great could fall upon them.
Isn’t this a great legend? Do you have one you’d like to share?