Presentation on theme: "African Masks Functions, Symbols, and Examples Several Functions of Masks To seek the help of powerful spirits To control these forces To enlist."— Presentation transcript:
African Masks Functions, Symbols, and Examples
Several Functions of Masks To seek the help of powerful spirits To control these forces To enlist help against the powers of destruction To embody the qualities of a specific animal To ask for protection. To honor the spirits and bring forth their blessings through dance
Hawk Mask of the Nuna Burkina Faso The zigzag lines flanking the face signify the –"path of the ancestors" The checkerboard pattern –ignorance and knowledge, dark and light.
Antelope Mask Dogon People Mali The antelope is admired for its beauty, strength, and courage. It is the symbol of the hard work
Elephant Mask Bamileke People Cameroon The elephant mask signifies kingship and wealth. Black denotes the relationship between the living and the dead. White refers to the ancestors and potent medicines. Red symbolizes life, women, and the institution of kingship.
Masks Representing People Masks used in ceremonies would represent honored people: –Elders –Spiritual leaders –Beautiful people –Young –Wise people.
Youthful Spirit Mask Baule peoples, Côte d'Ivoire Horns and teeth –mischief The youthful dancer playfully chases young women around the village, spurred on by their songs.
Feminine Beauty Punu People of Gabon Reflects Punu ideals of feminine beauty: –elegant coiffure –rounded forehead –highly arched eyebrows – almond shaped eyes –narrow face –small chin White color –spirit world. Danced by men on 6’stilts at celebrations and funerals.
Mwana pwo Angola Used in their initiation ceremonies Worn by men The masks represent female ancestors The dance mimics the graceful gestures of women and transmits fertility to the spectators.
Noble Elder Chokwe People D.R.C. This mask depicts an elderly man of noble rank. To bring prosperity to the village.
Mende Mozambique Ideals of female morality and physical beauty: –The downcast eyes indicate a spiritual nature –The high forehead indicates good fortune –The elaborate hairstyle reveals close ties within the community of women.
Makonde Mozambique Used for the initiation of men and women into adulthood
Chiefly Courage and Anger Pende People D.R.C. The interlacing diamond pattern signifies chiefship The mask's white rimmed eyes express uncontrolled anger The mask appears only in times of social crisis, when the chief must assert his authority