ORIGINS

FLAY: To strip off or remove the skin or outer covering of (a body or face).

Flay comes from the Native American legends of faceless figures. In their early wars with Native Americans, European colonists of North America retaliated against hostile native groups by adopting their practice of scalp taking. A bounty of 100 pounds per scalp were offered for Native Americans from colonial authorities in Boston. This practice was eventually banned but not before it was extended to the panhandle and the Gulf of Texas. The “Flaying” of faces became part of the practice to further embody the superstitious curse of the faceless forest spirit.