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 …
What is the purpose for African masks?
African masks provide a tangible form for invisible spirits, which are personified as human beings, animals, or fantastic composites of both. Spirits—deities, ancestors, and nature spirits (those that inhabit streams, rivers, rocks, and other natural forms)—get involved in the affairs of people, by invitation or not.
What is the history behind African masks?
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. They are made from wood, pottery, textiles, copper and bronze.
Why were masks worn during religious ceremonies in Africa?
Masks were very important during ceremonies because they were used to entertain the people. The masks made dancers look more exciting, and they played a major role in arousing the interest of the audience. The mask wearer can become a sort of medium that allows for a dialogue between the community and the spirits.
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 do masks symbolize?
Masks usually represent supernatural beings, ancestors, and fanciful or imagined figures, and they can also be portraits. The localization of a particular spirit in a specific mask must be considered a highly significant reason for its existence.
What were 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 is a type of African mask?
Senufo Mask. Teke Mask. Woyo Mask. Yohure Mask. Free African Mask Clip Art.
Why are African masks symmetrical?
African tribal artists do not try to create a perfect representation of their subject. … They create an idealized version, emphasizing those elements that they consider most important: Composition – Formal symmetrical arrangements of line, shape and form in figures and masks evoke integrity and dignity.
What are the key characteristics of African masks?
Characteristics of African Masks
Parallel, zigzag, cruciform, curved and spiral lines, representing scarification marks or tattoos, are frequently used to adorn the planes of the mask face. These could represent social status or have magical or religious powers.
Why is Africa called the Dark Continent?
The most common answer to the question, “Why was Africa called the Dark Continent?” is that Europe did not know much about Africa until the 19th century. … White people called Africa the Dark Continent because they wanted to legitimize the enslavement of Black people and exploitation of Africa’s resources.