Traditional African masks play an important role in certain traditional African rituals and ceremonies. … Some masks represent the spirits of deceased ancestors. Others symbolize totem animals, creatures important to a certain family or group.
What is the significance of African masks?
The traditional African mask is worn during celebrations, dances and festivities and ritual ceremonies commemorating social and religious events. They play a very significant spiritual and functional role in the community and often there is no distinction between social recreation and ritual celebration.
Who wears African masks?
In many African groups, masks are worn by dancers. Masked dancers often participate in ceremonies that include songs and prayers. Different ceremonies honor children’s coming of age, harvests, funerals, and other events. The person who wears the mask knows exactly what he or she must do.
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 story can a mask tell?
Masks are used in social ceremonies (weddings, funerals, etc.), seasonal celebrations, and religious events. They are used to tell stories, impart wisdom, and ask for spirit blessings and protections.
Are African masks valuable?
Yes! African masks are widely appreciated commercially, artistically and by the public at large.
Do African masks have spirits?
Ritual contexts for masks
Most times, the spirits mentioned are those of the dead, or nature-related. Masked dances are a part of most traditional African ceremonies related to weddings, funerals, initiation rites, and cleansing.
What are African masks inspired by?
The two main factors that influence the style of an African tribal mask are tradition and imagination.
What are African masks made out of?
African masks are considered to be one of the most admired and well-known art forms in Africa. There are many different materials used to make African masks such as: wood, bronze, brass, copper, ivory, glazed pottery, raffia and textiles. However, the most popular material used to make African masks is wood.
What are Kota masks used for?
Their masks, painted white to symbolize death, represent dead female ancestors, though they are worn by male relatives of the deceased. The Kota create stylistically unique reliquary figures, called mbulu-ngulu, which are covered with a sheet of brass or copper.
What do the differences in African masks show?
Some masks represent the spirits of deceased ancestors. Other symbolize totem animals, creatures important to a certain family or group. In some cultures, like the Kuba culture of Zaire, masks represent specific figures in tribal mythology, like a king or a rival to the ruler.
How do I identify an African mask?
Check the back of the mask for wear, including the holes for fastening the mask on the face. The wearer does a lot of moving in his dances, and contact between body and wood can leave sweat and oil stains. 2. Look for wear from forehead, cheeks, chins and noses.