While most African tribal masks represent spirits and ancestors, the Dan masks are the spirits themselves.
What are African masks made of?
African masks are primarily carved from wood but can also be made of terracotta, glazed pottery, bronze, brass, copper, ivory or leather.
What do African masks symbolize?
African masks often represent a spirit and it is strongly believed that the spirit of the ancestors possesses the wearer. Ritual ceremonies generally depict deities, spirits of ancestors, mythological beings, good and or evil, the dead, animal spirits, and other beings believed to have power over humanity.
What are the key features of an African mask?
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.
How can you tell if an African mask is real?
Look for wear from forehead, cheeks, chins and noses. The mask should look like it’s been handled. 3. Smell the mask for the hint of smoke odor that may have come from a mask being used near ritual fires or stored in houses heated by wood.
Are African masks valuable?
Most African masks are fakes. … If a mask measures up well to all of these, chances are you will have to pay a lot for it. The good news is that these high-quality pieces will most likely appreciate in value. Fakes, reproductions, tourist junk, and authentic-but-inferior masks are not a good investment.
What do African masks look like?
African masks are most commonly shaped like a human face or a muzzle of some animal. Masks are highly stylized because African cultures distinguish between outer look of something and its essence. … Mask are sometimes made with details from different animals and then they represent some virtue.
What purpose did masks serve in African art?
Tribal masks are used to represent the spirits of ancestors or to control the forces of good and evil.