African Masks

A look at African Masks

Background history about African Masks

The definition of a mask is a covering for all or part of the face, wore to conceal one's identity. Masks are different in different parts of the world. African Masks are seen as a part of ceremonial costume. People wear these masks in post social and religious events to represent ancestors or to control evil that is with in the community. African masks are made of many different things, but they are mostly made out of wood. There is two main reasons that they use wood, one is because there are a lot of forests so there are lots of trees to use the wood from, and the second one is because it is thought that the trees have a spiritual soul and so wood is the most natural thing to put the spirit of the mask into.


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African mask style

Once they have made the masks they usually decorate them with cowrie shells, colored beads, bones, animal skin, or vegetable fibre. If a mask is made out of wood then it can also be dyed to be changed to different colors. Many of the masks have different bright colors but then there are some masks that are just plain brown. The masks that are just brown have a lot of texture to them to make the interesting. Many of the masks that are African masks have patterns to them. The patterns are either painted on or carved on. Some of the patterns that are used are said to have magical or religious powers.


My opinion

I think that the African masks are very cool. The thing that I think is the coolest is that they are believed to have magical powers. I also think that they reasons as to why they mostly use wood for making the masks are very cool. My favorite thing about the masks is that they can be very plain and not have any paint or anything and they are still very interesting. I wish that I could make a most and decorate it with bones.