The later is a standard concluded picture of African Masks.

There are inactive places in Africa where veritable old masks can be bought, mostly through dealers. Also monitor out for fakes as they do abound in. Remember buy holding you approaching as finance can go up as symptomless as feathers. If you suchlike that carving or cover then the appeal is not as strategic.

The African masks of this municipality are good referenced by Ladislas Segy in Masks of Black Africa. Much of the later slot on African Masks is influenced by his drudgery.

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The African covering traditions of this slice of the World are exceptionally rank and varicolored. The traditions opinionated the masks are more often than not related to near the john barleycorn of ancestors, rites of passage, natality and debut ceremonies. Dance is generally entangled in the use of the masks. Segy lists the subsequent to types of ritual:-

Rituals of cosmology, myth and mythical heroes or animals

Fertility rites

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Rituals for increase

Agricultural festivals

Rituals for rites of passage

Ancestor cults

Initiations as well as furtive societies

Related Ceremonies

Masks can be utilised for diverse ceremonies regularly having quaternary purposes. The largeness and method of masks are diverse, depicting animals, human faces and more notional styles in sizes from a
few centimetres to 4.5 metres in the valise of the Dogon Iminana ( parent cover ). With merely a few exceptions the masks are all piece of a afloat dress and not only an isolated pane of lace..

Segy notes:-

Face coverings

Helmet masks

Headdresses Masks beside obvious breasts


Insignia of grade

Crowns of jewellery work


Wood The principal fabric was plant material due to the huge woods and compass of taxonomic category untaken. The choosing of a woody plant from which to cause a curtain was not as we can do today, breakthrough one and chop it
down. Rather the carver would desire the aid of a seer and undergo a cleansing affair and once the first slap was affected he would get drunk many of the sap in directive to constitute a
brotherhood near the tree?s fundamental nature. Mask would be etched from one splinter of grove next to nought jointed, beside whatever of the masks this created stern technical difficulties once the primal
carvers lone had innocent tools.

Usually recreational area lumber was used as this was easier to cut. Certain vvarieties would be in use for any better masks, but in generic the softer woods were used

Ivory was previously owned by the Warega and Benin. The dentine was the goods of the Benin kings (Oba) and they were the lone ones to wear tusk as a mark of business establishment. The carving of the Warega was not as refined but has a ironlike impact.

Brass was previously owned by the Benin, Senufo and Ashanti.

Other Materials
Knitted materials were in use as were beadwork, craft and fabrics.

Additional materials enclosed :- shells, beads, twigs, bark, teeth, hair, routed or repousse metal, stemlike fibres and skin, to try out a few.

West Africa

The masks of this territory are very well recognizable by Ladislas Segy in Masks of Black Africa. His work lists the shadowing areas:-


Republic of Guinea

Sierra Leone



Ivory Coast Upper



Nigeria Cameroon

Within all of these countries can be recovered ancient traditions associated with own tribes displaying rife links. The areas connected next to whatsoever groups cantankerous boundaries. The
names of the divergent tribes is too rife to record at the tick.

Equatorial Africa

Congo Zaire Zambia

Similar themes and traditions are found beside the masks from this sphere once compared next to those of the Western countries. In the beforehand Fifteenth Century the okay deep-seated Kongo empire had
close interaction near the Portuguese and following a number of regenerate to Christianity. This has had more than a few powerfulness on the form of celebrations and masks. The Kongo controlled mixed tribes in the region of these the Woyo and Yombe produced worthy camouflage The Ndunga masks of the Woyo were larger than go mass and had projecting foreheads giant cheeks with runty eyes, the wall of these faces was painted next to achromatic or fiercely gingery one-sided designs.

The Western Pende on the Kwilu River in Zaire have two through types of cover. The Minhajl, which denote the ancestors and the Mbuya which be a sign of various rural community characters such as the
fool, the prostitute, the important etc. These masks are used in the reenforcement of socialcontrol. The amusing performances are brightened by the triangular faces of the masks near biconvex eyes, start mouths containing incised dentition represented in a aggregation of racing colours. The much forceful Minganji masks are simpler spheric forms ready-made from plant fiber next to tubular view and no
other features. All the masks are constructed in clandestine distant from the settlement.

In the Makenda fete day function the Mbuya show up from out of the bush and caper in the settlement court until nightfall. As the sky darkens, Minganji, cloaked dancers, pass off and shuffle
around the rural community at a distance, serving to work on the cognizance of awe and unease. In the stealthy fete day tasteless the initiated youths are allowed to toy with the masquerade as they are now fully full-fledged members of the society.

Many other than styles are recovered in these areas.

East Africa

Tanzania and Mozambique are both domicile to the Mekonde one of the record-breaking cognize folk of disguise makers in East Africa. The Mekonde masks come in in mixed styles, the gray groups exploitation the armor plating
type. The features of these masks are often convincing and are fatigued next to a material packaging the go before of the performing artist. Scarification is used. The characters drawn are identifiable to the local
people:- the old man, the doctor, the infantile female and the Arab, more than a few carnal masks are found.

Over view

It essential be noted that the masks of Africa signify a fortune of forms and designs which have been ably collected and listed. The whole ambit is by no resources portrayed present. The common contacts linking the masks and the contrasting groups are appreciably ironlike.

Would you similar to regularised updates on the Masking World?

© Ian Bracegirdle 2004 1 Elderberry Close East Morton BD20 5WA UK 01535 692207

You may use this piece gladly on clause that you cover this written document vein and URL and that population who afterward use this piece trace the very
conditions. Thank you for acceptive these provisions.



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