Most African ritual masks are carved from wood, though some are made from stone, copper, bronze, fabric, or pottery. … Masks are often painted and decorated with animal hair, teeth, or horns, shells, straw, feathers, and other materials found in nature.
What are West African masks used for?
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 do African masks symbolize?
African masks often represent a spirit and it is strongly believed that the spirit of the ancestors possesses the wearer. Ritual ceremonies generally depict deities, spirits of ancestors, mythological beings, good and or evil, the dead, animal spirits, and other beings believed to have power over humanity.
What are the 6 types of African masks?
The more you know about African masks, the more you will come to appreciate their cultural and symbolic significance.
- Common Types Of African Masks. …
- Examples of African mask. …
- Baule masks. …
- Biombo masks. …
- Bwa masks. …
- Dan masks. …
- Goma masks. …
- Kota 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.
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.
Why are African masks scary?
Masks representing harmful spirits were often used to keep a required balance of power. … Masks have also be used to discipline women, children, and criminals. For example, in Africa, a mother might paint a scary face on the bottom of a water gourd to make sure the child followed her directions.
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.
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.
What countries still use traditional 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.
What purpose did masks serve in African art?
What purpose did masks serve in African art? They served as a part of a costume during ceremonies and religious rituals. They were vital to there culture and were very meaningful. They represent ancestors that have passed rejoicing them for the certain ceremonies.
How do you display African masks?
You could simply run a string or wire through the holes of the African mask to hang it, or mount it on a display base with an armature. The metal wire follows the inside perimeter so it cannot be seen through the openings in the mask such as the eyes and mouth.
What are 4 forms that are used to create an African mask?
SHAPE: African masks take on many forms. They can be oval, circular, rectangular, elongated or animal, human or a combination.
What is an African passport mask?
Mbole Passport Masks 1-4, DRC
The Dan people carried small masks (less than 20 cm high) which are sometimes called “passport” masks. They are sewn onto a piece of cloth and kept in a leather pouch and possibly worn in the small of the back. They are miniature copies of a family mask and sometimes received libations.
What does the mask represent?
Masks usually represent supernatural beings, ancestors, and fanciful or imagined figures, and they can also be portraits.
What cultures use masks?
10 Fascinating Cultural Masks from Around the World
- Venetian Carnival Masks. Worn during Carnival in Venice, these world-famous masks date back to the 13th century. …
- 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.