University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

18th Century Lenape Finger Mask [Object of the Day #10]


By: Amy Ellsworth

An integral part of the (now extinct) Delaware Big House Church (xingwekaon) ceremony was the use of the Mesingw mask or carved face. It’s a representation of a powerful spirit (mesingwhalikan) that came to their ancestors centuries ago, and became incorporated into religious ceremonies. The mask would be painted red (ochre) on the right half […]

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