What do African mask represent?

In rituals, African masks represent deities, mythological beasts and gods; metaphors for good and evil, the dead, animals, nature and any other force that is considered more powerful than man himself.

What are the characteristics of African masks?

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.

What countries still use African masks?

Tribal 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.

What do horns represent in African culture?

Dwennimmen, literally meaning “ram’s horns,” symbolizes that even the strong have to also be humble. The symbol is a bird’s eye view of two rams butting heads, and the rams’ horns symbolizes strength and humility through the characteristics of a ram.

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What are the characteristics and functions of an African mask?

Quite often, African masks function in religious and social events to represent the spirits of ancestors or to control the good and evil forces in the community. They come to life, possessed by spirits in the performance of dance, and are enhanced by both the music and atmosphere of the occasion.

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