Africa possesses a long tradition of masking and it is believed that masks were integral to their culture long before the first century B.C. The wide variety of uses for masks, which included rituals of myth, creation, and hero worship, as well as fertility rituals for increase, agricultural festivities, funerals or …
Why are African masks created?
It is believed that the earliest masks were used in Africa before Paleolithic era. They represent spirits of animals or ancestors, mythological heroes, moral values or a form of honoring of a person in a symbolic way. … These masks are made to represent an abstract subject, which explains stylization.
Why did Africans use wood masks?
The majority of masks and sculptures are made of wood for two reasons: Trees are in plentiful supply in the forest. The carver believes that the tree has a spiritual soul and its wood is the most natural home for the spirit in the mask.
How are African masks created?
THE MASK MAKER
They finalize their creations by embellishing them with such varied materials as clay, ivory, horn, stone, feathers, and straw. Sometimes masks are made in the image of a female face which would be typically based on a particular culture’s ideal of feminine beauty.
What do African masks Symbolise?
Masks serve an important role in rituals or ceremonies with varied purposes like ensuring a good harvest, addressing tribal needs in time of peace or war, or conveying spiritual presences in initiation rituals or burial ceremonies. Some masks represent the spirits of deceased ancestors.
What countries still use African masks?
- Bwa, Mossi and Nuna of Burkina Faso.
- Dan of Liberia and Ivory Coast.
- Dogon and Bamana of Mali.
- Fang (Punu) and Kota of Gabon.
- Yorubo, Nubo, Igbo and Edo of Nigeria.
- Senufo and Grebo, Baule (Guro) and Ligbi (Koulango) of Ivory Coast.
- Temne, Gola and Sande (Sowei) of Sierra Leone.
- Bambara of Mali.
How can you tell if an African mask is real?
An up-close look of the back of the mask. I decided to Google to find out how to determine authenticity.
Holes on masks are used to attach the rest of the ceremonial dress.
- Check the back of the mask for wear, including the holes for fastening the mask on the face. …
- Look for wear from forehead, cheeks, chins and noses.
Where did African masks originate from?
Almost all peoples have used masks to disguise themselves. Prehistoric rock paintings suggest that masking may have been part of magico-religious ceremonies. An image of an African mask first appeared in the central Sahara thousands of years ago.
What cultures use masks?
10 Fascinating Cultural Masks from Around the World
- Venetian Carnival Masks. …
- Mexican Day of the Dead Masks. …
- Chinese New Year Masks. …
- Brazilian Carnival Masks. …
- Filipino Dinagyang Masks. …
- African Festima Masks. …
- Bahamian Junkanoo Masks. …
- Austrian Krampusnacht Festival Masks.
What are three different forms of African masks?
Common types of African masks include face masks, which fit over the front of the wearer’s face; helmet masks, which fit over the entire head; and forehead masks, which work like hats that sit horizontally on top of the head with the wearer’s face covered by fabric.
What are the key features of an African mask?
Characteristics of African Masks
Most patterns tend to be geometrical and symmetrical and are presented as a form of coded information. Parallel, zigzag, cruciform, curved and spiral lines, representing scarification marks or tattoos, are frequently used to adorn the planes of the mask face.
Why were African masks intentionally unrealistic?
The main artistic products of tropical Africa were wood carvings, both masks and sculpture-in-the-round. … Masks were intentionally unrealistic: when confronting a supernatural power, the idea was for the performer to conceal his true identity behind this artificial face.
What are traditional African colors?
“In European art, color is generally understood in terms of the primary colors red, yellow and blue,” says Karen Milbourne, the BMA’s curator of African art. “But throughout much of Africa, the primary colors are red, white and black. They don’t mean the same thing to every group, but they appear over and over again.”
Who wears African masks?
In many cultures, masks are an important part of traditional rituals. For thousands of years, African peoples have used masks in ceremonies. Every African mask is unique. In many African groups, masks are worn by dancers.
What materials are used in the making of African masks?
There are many different materials used to make African masks such as: wood, bronze, brass, copper, ivory, glazed pottery, raffia and textiles.