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I kept putting off doing anything with the bird. Then I had a dream. I met an old friend outside a movie theatre. She said it was about time I did something with that flicker, since it was beginning to stink. So, in the dream, I did go down to the basement and clipped the flicker's wings and defeathered it. I'd noticed nothing unusual during this process, but when I was finished, I saw a spot of blood in the palm of my left hand. I thought that this was peculiar, not having seen any blood from the bird. Then I realized that the blood was from my own nose. I thought: this is just like what happened at South Hill. Then I awakened.

Two years prior to this dream, Peeka, Lee, Scott and I were on an outing to explore South Hill, a place overlooking Canandaigua Lake, which several sources refer to as the legendary birthplace of the Seneca Nation. We'd been there two or three hours and were returning to the car, scattered around a big field. I was walking through a patch of tall grasses and suddenly came upon a bare spot of earth that had a collection of small bones in it. I leaned down to examine the bones, picked one or two of them up, and my nose started to bleed all over the pile. I didn't have a cold. I hadn't bumped my nose on anything. I hadn't had a nosebleed for years. This was the incident referred to in the flicker dream.

The day after my dream, I did indeed take care of the flicker. Because of the dream, I was careful to observe whether or not there was any bleeding. I saw none. But when I was finished clipping its wings and defeathering it, I noticed a patch of blood in the palm of my right hand. The blood was not from my nose, but a close reexamination of the bird revealed there was a bit of blood coming from its nostrils.
The wings of this bird are incorporated into my Flicker Spirit mask.


This discussion represents a descriptive summarization of the evolution of singing masks and a sounding out of mysteries yet unexplained. It is another form of mask.

A groping for understanding, which may not be forthcoming but in further mask-making.

What follows are images of several of the Singing masks that are playable by clicking on the masks. Explore around to discover which sounds are played by different locations. All the samples are recordings of the respective Singing Mask sometimes solo and sometimes being played during live ceremony/performances.