It is believed that the earliest masks were used in Africa before Paleolithic era. They represent spirits of animals or ancestors, mythological heroes, moral values or a form of honoring of a person in a symbolic way. They are made from wood, pottery, textiles, copper and bronze.
Why did African people wear masks?
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 …
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 death masks real?
Death mask, a wax or plaster cast of a mold taken from the face of a dead individual. Death masks are true portraits, although changes are occasionally made in the eyes of the mask to make it appear as though the subject were alive.
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 countries still use 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.