Some masks represent the spirits of deceased ancestors. Others 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.
What do different African masks represent?
While most African tribal masks represent spirits and ancestors, the Dan masks are the spirits themselves. The masks have a characteristic concave face which ends with a pointed chin, a high domed forehead, and big pouty lips. The masks are carved out of wood and are often dyed to give a rich brown colour.
What are the different types 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 identifying features 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 is the symbolism and relevance of the mask a predominant types of art in all African cultures?
In general, masks tend to represent spirits or beings important to the ritual in which the mask in used. The wearer of the mask is often believed to be able to communicate to the being symbolized by it, or to be possessed by who or what the mask represents. To African cultures, masks aren’t playthings or decorations.
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 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.
What are three types of masks created in Africa?
The three types are face masks, helmet masks, and body and belly masks.
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.
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.
Why are African masks so important?
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.
How are masks used in African culture?
The mask wearer can become a sort of medium that allows for a dialogue between the community and the spirits. 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 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.
Why are cultural masks worn?
Rituals, often nocturnal, by members of secret societies wearing ancestor masks are reminders of the ancient sanction of their conduct. In many cultures, these masked ceremonies are intended to prevent miscreant acts and to maintain the circumscribed activities of the group.
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.