African Masks

Masks have long played a vital role in African cultural life. African masks are in fact dramatic demonstrations of the spirits of departed ancestors, and believed to have hidden powers of social control.They are made according to traditional style and worn by trained performers, often with elaborate costumes, to teach and to inspire reverence for cultural history, seek protection by honoring women ancestors, and celebrate a good harvest. The ceremonial events express important social, religious, and moral values of the whole community, and the mask's artistic and symbolic details show the same.

Masks are generally hand-crafted by well-trained artisans. In Kenya masks are made of glazed terra, whereas in other African countries, wooden masks are used. In Ghana, the Eket tribe hand-carves love masks from 'sese' wood, which is believed to bring love to one who displays it. Sese wood is commonly found in Ghana, and is very durable.The use of wood in African masks has a very long history. Traditional African beliefs say that trees are living objects with souls, which provide a life source to masks carved from them.

So before carving a mask, the carver consults his spiritual advisors, undergoes a purification ceremony and offers a sacrifice to please the spirit of the trees. When the tree is cut down, the mask carver chews some of the sap to achieve brotherhood with the tree. The carver believes that all these activities help in the betterment of his craftsmanship, and increase harmony with nature and the gods.

.Masks provides detailed information on African Masks, Feather Masks, Gorilla Masks, Halloween Masks and more. Masks is affiliated with Yoga Mats.

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By: Peter Emerson


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