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 was the purpose of the masks in Africa?
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 …
Where did African masks originated from?
Almost all peoples have used masks to disguise themselves. Prehistoric rock paintings suggest that masking may have been part of magico-religious ceremonies. An image of an African mask first appeared in the central Sahara thousands of years ago.
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 are the key 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.
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.
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 are three types of masks created in Africa?
The three types are face masks, helmet masks, and body and belly masks. Face masks are commonly used today as products used to make the face more healthy. Helmet masks are fit over the head and are often carved from a tree trunk.
Where did masks originate from?
In China, masks are thought to have originated in ancient religious ceremonies. Images of people wearing masks have been found in rock paintings along the Yangtze. Later mask forms brings together myths and symbols from shamanism and Buddhism.
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.
How many African masks are there?
You may think a mask just covers the front of your face. But among African cultures that make masks, there are six basic mask forms.
What are African masks made out of?
The most commonly used material for masks is wood, although a wide variety of other elements can be used, including light stone such as steatite, metals such as copper or bronze, different types of fabric, pottery, and more. Some masks are painted (for example using ochre or other natural colorants).
What are traditional African colors?
The Pan-African flag’s colors each had symbolic meaning. Red stood for blood — both the blood shed by Africans who died in their fight for liberation, and the shared blood of the African people. Black represented, well, black people. And green was a symbol of growth and the natural fertility of Africa.
What are the characteristics and functions of an African mask?
Quite often, African masks function in religious and social events to represent the spirits of ancestors or to control the good and evil forces in the community. They come to life, possessed by spirits in the performance of dance, and are enhanced by both the music and atmosphere of the occasion.
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.