Africa isn't lacking Art and culture, there are lots of beautiful art pieces that Africa has given the planet, but today we shall speak about African Masks. West African masks in particular, along with looking visually striking have many layers of meaning and hold symbolic importance in the tribes they come from. Some that you will uncover as you keep reading further...
African masks are traditionally worn by tribes who put it to use for a variety of things. There are different purposes for the creation of every mask and it is influenced by the region of Africa they're made and from what tribe they came from. Among the stand out indicators of a masks purpose may be the facial attributes it has. A good example being in certain tribe's a long, stretched face symbolizes the soberness that power brings.
Masks have now been known to be used and specifically created for spiritual ceremonies in that your spirits of ancestors are conjured through special dance and song, by wearing the mask. These souls the tribes believe will watch over them through their lives, shield them from evil spirits and sometimes make them to win a battle at hand.
Tribal masks are manufactured by specially trained individuals Marabouts et Voyants Africains who've been taught by an elder in the neighborhood with years of experience in the craft of mask making. A master or expert carver is really a job that is included with much prestige, in order for one to take on this role they will have to understand meanings of colour and spiritual markings.
Masks are manufactured from differing materials and the material used is often an indicator of how important the mask is. The materials used in making the masks range between wood, metal,ivory and stone. Some tribes have been known to file down animal bones and use it for extensions on masks.
Masks can also represent the cultures ideal of feminine beauty. The Punu of Gabon has masks that epitomizes female beauty inside their culture and is worn by men on stilts. The masks have almond shaped eyes, a thin chin and dark black hair style which tops it off. The facial skin of the mask is white and represents the sweetness of the spirit world. The Idia's mask of Benin is a famous mask among African art lovers which was manufactured in memory of the king of Benin's mother. In honor of his mother he wore it by his side near his hip during special ceremonies.
Many masks from Africa are manufactured for a concept or perhaps a few, as opposed to to represent an individual. A disguise may be built to represent "wisdom of a person" as an example and will feature standout facial characteristics to help expand enhance its cause. West African masks are a fantastic part of African culture as they are visual representations of the beliefs of a group and also a thing of historical insight. A West African mask has meaning and a degree that one may only contemplate when they understand the reason behind existence.