False Face – Black & White photo challenge, Day 3

I was invited by Diana and Jim from exploRVistas, full-time RVers, to take part in a five days black and white photo challenge. At the beginning, I was a bit sceptic, because I’m not used to do black and white pictures. I welcome all tips to help me improving myself ! I hope you will enjoy the result :-)

Today is Day 3, and since I’ve only posted animal pictures so far (the frisky fox and the devil cat), I’ve decided to change a bit and share with you an interesting piece of art I’ve come across when I visited the Cinquantenaire museum last February.

The Cinquantenaire museum is located in the hearth of Brussels, in the Cinquantenaire park. The characteristic of this museum is that you can see national archaeological artefacts as well as other objects from different parts of the world (European and non-European objects). There is one masterpiece that really caught my eyes : a mask from the False Face Society.

False Face Mask

These masks were used in healing rituals by the Iroquois Indians in the state of New York. The design is very peculiar and all these masks share the same characteristics :  metal pieces around the eyes to capture the light and create an eerie reflection, a wig made from buffalo or horse hair and a crooked nose.

Despite some very interesting pieces, the museum is very old and not very “sexy”. There is no to little information and an audio guide is therefore essential.

As part of the challenge, we are supposed to invite another blogger each day to join in. It’s the hardest part of the challenge, I would love to invite each of you :-)

Today, I would like to invite Carlos from Rutakintome to join in. Carlos has posted FABULOUS pictures of the windy city recently, and he’s already a “pro” when it comes to monochrome photography (oh well, according to me of course :p). I hope he will accept :-) If you have time, visit his blog, you won’t regret it :-)

There are only 2 rules to follow by accepting this challenge:

1.Post a different black and white photo of yours each day for five consecutive days.

2. Nominate a fellow blogger on each day to continue the challenge. See you tomorrow for the next post !

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22 responses to “False Face – Black & White photo challenge, Day 3

    • I had the feeling it was telling a story, then I try to find some information and I was right :-) I hope you enjoyed the lovely weekend we had :-) I drove past Rotterdam yesterday, thought about you :D

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  1. Quite a scary mask if you ask me! Interesting that the would use such a scary mask for healing. I was more thinking war mask when studying it. That aside, the picture of the mask is great, a very nice B&W picture.

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      • There used to be a brand of chewing tobacco called ‘Battle Axe’. I suspected that the piece of metal in your photo might have been a lid from a chewing tobacco tin. A settler probably discarded it in the wild and the Iroquois found it and used it for the mask. Very interesting!

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        • Oh that’s awesome !!! It makes sense ! There was no explanation at the museum, but I think you’ve figured that out ;-) It’s quite fascinating, I wouldn’t have guessed for the brand of chewing tobacco because I’ve never heard of it :-)

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          • What is really interesting about it, is that they just tore down a building in Grand Rapids, Michigan (our home base for the past 30 years) and in doing so they revealed a really old Battle Ax advertisement. Google ‘Grand Rapids Battle Ax’. Only confusing thing is that the ‘e’ is missing off of ‘Ax’, but it is possible they changed the spelling after Noah Webster had his way with the English language. :)

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  2. Healing masks… I cannot avoid to think in psychological therapy and, sorry -_-, the movie The Mask, where in some way the mask helped to free the character of Jim Carrey.
    Nice black and white, the absent eyes are rendered in a way that the mask looks alive, like if those black holes were made of a solid shadow.

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    • haha, yes, I cannot disagree there, I also had the green mask popping into my head when I visited the museum :D

      The masks were stored behind glasses, so it was difficult to take the picture. I was really surprised to see pieces of steel around the eyes, usually, masks I’ve seen were always made of wood, so it was a nice change.

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      • Here are of wood too in the Amazons, and with papers molded after wet them in the highlands The only antecedent I think are the masks of dead kings (I don’t remember if in Europe or China), masks with eyes covered with metallic coins, I read that to protect the king but secretly if he had been a bad king to seal his evil soul.

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