There are several types of African masks, including those that cover the face; helmet masks that fit over the entire head like a large helmet; and masks that are like crests on top of the head, leaving the wearer’s face visible. African masks are made of many different designs. Some are shaped like human faces.
What are the characteristics of African masks?
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 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 most African masks shaped like?
African masks are usually shaped after a human face or some animal’s muzzle, albeit rendered in a sometimes highly abstract form. … Masks from the Senufo people of Ivory Coast, for example, have their eyes half closed, symbolizing a peaceful attitude, self-control, and patience.
What are the different types of 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.
Do all African masks represent good spirits?
Every Dan masks is sacred. While most African tribal masks represent spirits and ancestors, the Dan masks are the spirits themselves.
What purpose did masks serve in African art?
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 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 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.
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 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.
What do colors mean in Africa?
Red: the blood that unites all people of Black African ancestry, and shed for liberation; Black: for the people whose existence as a nation, though not a nation-state, is affirmed by the existence of the flag; Green: the abundant and vibrant natural wealth of Africa, the Motherland.
What is an Egyptian death mask?
When someone died in Ancient Egypt, their body would have been preserved by being mummified. … A death mask was created so that the soul would recognise its body, and return to it safely. Death masks were also believed to help to guard a dead person from evil spirits in the afterlife.
What is the symbolic meaning of a mask?
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.