Artists hold a respected position in the community Masks are valued for their spiritual quality Part of a ceremonial costume During ceremonies the masks come to life through music and dancing Represents spirits of ancestors and controls the balance between good and evil
Use materials from the Earth such as wood, terracotta clay pottery, raffia and textiles. They are often decorated with cowrie shells, colored beads, bone, animal skins and vegetable fibers. Sometimes metals such as bronze, copper and brass are also used. Even the tools used for carving have spiritual qualities.
Masks celebrate more abstract qualities like nobility, beauty, courage, mischief and humor.
20 th century Artists such as Pablo Picasso and Andre Derain were inspired by African Art Sparked the Cubism movement (objects are broken up and re- assembled in an abstract form)