Masks are important objects of traditional African culture. They served significant roles in certain rituals and ceremonies over the centuries. The artistry of old African masks is self-evident and has a much more profound meaning than surface beauty for the people who created them.
Traditional African masks had religious and spiritual meanings which preserved cultural heritage. They were used in ritual and ceremonial dances and social and religious events.
What Makes the African Power Masks Worth Buying?
Traditional masks were made in a wide range of colors, shapes, and forms. The artisans used metals, ivory, and wood to make them. Red, white, orange, black, and brown are some typical colors available in African masks.
African masks were used with elaborate costumes and served a diversity of functions. From narrating people's history, to educating and entertaining, to elevating a human to a supernatural position, to judge, heal, and commune with the spirits, the artistic pieces were thought to do wonders.
The Material and Structure of African Masks
The most standard material used for these masks is wood. However, many other elements were also used, including metals such as bronze, copper, or any different type of pottery. Some masks were painted, while others display animal hair, sea shells, horns, teeth, seeds, egg shells, straws, and feathers as a mask's beard or hair.
On the other hand, when we talk about African power masks, the overall structure differs in how it is worn. It could be worn on the face, carried on the shoulder, or be worn over the head hence a helmet mask. They even had masks that were worn over the stomach.
Old Africans thought of their spirits to be magical! They believed their spirits had supernatural qualities that could not be quantified. Thus, the word magic relates to African spirits.
Unique African Masks
In concert with the belief system, African entities obtained their "power" through the practices of rites, rituals, and ceremonies. The following are a few authentic ceremonial West and Central African region’s objects. So, let's have a look at them.
1.Bawa Butterfly Masks
The Bawa people were said to have used this large and awe-inspiring mask. The masks were owned by male elders to represent nature spirits that watched over the families that owned them and the people in their communities. However, they were also worn and danced in ceremonies by young men in their mid-teens to the early thirties.
The portrayed Bembe mask has two shields, open oval white eyes with slits and a hint of more hidden eyes. Western collectors find this mask interesting, perhaps because of its shield-like elements that refer to a warrior. Thus, this is a warrior mask.
The highly curated African power masks present artistic works of the highest quality. The Bawa mask has a large beak and are decorated with secret ethno-graphic signs and symbols made up of triangles, concentric circles, alligators, and large wings. The Bembe mask portrays a hint of hidden eyes. Feel free to contact the best African art gallery to purchase one and get details regarding the same.