An introduction to the ceremonial dance masks of the oceanic and african culture

Akawo Odo Drama Origins of African Masks Africa possesses a long tradition of masking and it is believed that masks were integral to their culture long before the first century B. As time has passed, modernization, colonization, heavy migration into the cities and out of the countryside and small villages have made these rituals and ceremonies rarer occurances.

Dan is a general term for all the tribes living in the area of east Liberia, the west Ivory Coast and southern Guinea. African Myth Myths played a valuable role in advancing the worldview of African peoples and helping to maintain traditions within each tribe.

The forms of these masks invariably were prescribed by traditionas were their uses. At the main ceremony, the idima are taken through the village by a masked figure and finally brought to the "place of dying" where the circumcision is performed Throughout the world, masks are used for their expressive power as a feature of masked performance - both ritually and in various theatre traditions.

African Masks – Important in African Culture

African masks themselves are some of the most fascinating works in all of human history. The months of training and education are mixed with taunts that are believed to help the boys mature and strengthen their discipline.

It was likely used in ritual dances and may be a portrait of a particular high-status person. Richard Andree was one of the first ethnographers to gain an informed insight into their beauty and value in the s and his work helped to alter some biased perceptions Kecskesi The present uses are as miniature masks for tourist souvenirs, or on mobile phoneswhere they hang as good-luck talismans.

Ritual masks Ritual masks occur throughout the world, and although they tend to share many characteristics, highly distinctive forms have developed.

In western and central Democratic Republic of the Congolarge colourful helmetlike masks are used as a masquerading device when the youth emerges from the initiation area and is introduced to the villagers as an adult of the tribe. For example, the Okahandja market in Namibia mostly sells masks that are produced in Zimbabwe as they are cheaper and more easily available than local masksand, in turn, Zimbabwean mask-makers reproduce masks from virtually everywhere in Africa rather than from their own local heritage.

There is no narrative here, simply representations of various types of activities typical of the time, when there was conflict between Yoruba groups and between the Yoruba and their Muslim neighbors: After this period is over, the artist will take the tree home and begin to carve it into a mask or a figure.

These rituals often involve specific dances and chants that are believed to establish a form of communication with certain spirits or ancestors.

In this chapter, we have learned how Africa uses masks for a wide variety of events ranging from ritual ceremonies to social events without a religious connection.

5 African traditional ceremonial dance styles explained

It is believed that the use of masks is related to the cult of the ancestors, which considered dancers the interpreters of the gods. African Tribal Art has a significant and mystical history.

The Function of an African Mask

The Bakongo tribe, for instance, at the mouth of the Congo River, creates some of the most naturalistic masks in Africa, with realistic touches like filed-down teeth Black Furthermore, the complexities of African masks not only relate to the intricate and varying religions and belief systems found in Africa, but specifically to the way the are constructed.

Rites of passage, such as initiation of young members of the family, or funerals, were carried out at the shrine under the watch of the ancestral masks. During the Dama funeral ceremonies held every 12 years, the Kanaga dancers "rotate their upper bodies from the hips and swing the masks in wide circles.

The Dogon live in Mali on the Bandiagara escarpment east of the Niger River, in villages of thatched roofs and mud brick buildings that seem about to slide off the walls of stone.

The African masks are an important part of African ceremonies, rituals, initiations, celebrations and secret communities.

These rituals and ceremonies may depict obviously the ancestors, but also the dead, the spirit of animals and other supernatural beings.

Out of Africa

The translation is provided by a wise man, who accompanies the dancer and deciphers the grunts and utterances. A wide array of ornamental items can be applied to the mask surface; example include animal hairhorns, or teeth, sea shellsseedsstraws, egg shell, and feathers.

They remain symbols of a time past, a rich history, and the religious and the cultural holdings of a people. Supposedly a face is represented, but it is believed that the suggestion is a trick to fool those not yet initiated into the tribe Teuten The carving of masks was an important feature of wood craft, along with many other features that often combined the utilitarian with the symbolic, such as shieldscanoespoles, and houses.

Nowadays these are usually mass-produced plastic masks, often associated with popular filmsTV programmes, or cartoon characters - they are, however, reminders of the enduring power of pretence and play and the power and appeal of masks. Some of these articulating masks acted out entire legends as their parts moved.

Fang mask used for the ngil ceremony, an inquisitorial search for sorcerers. African masks are considered amongst the finest creations in the art world and are highly sought after by art collectors.

Bring fact-checked results to the top of your browser search. Wedding masks were used to pray for good luck and a lasting marriage, and "Swallowing Animal" masks were associated with protecting the home and symbolised the "swallowing" of disaster.

Another Yoruba piece, a wooden bowl used for the Ifa system of divination, is strikingly Cubistic; Sacks paired it with a Cubist still life drawing in his collection, Nature morte avec bouteille, from — The general structure of a mask varies depending on the way it is intended to be worn.

This in turn is of uncertain origin — perhaps from a Germanic source akin to English "mesh", but perhaps from mask- "black", a borrowing from a pre-Indo-European language. Courtesy of the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, England High priests and healers, or shamansfrequently had their own powerful totems, in whose masks they could exorcise evil spirits, punish enemies, locate game or fish, predict the weather, and, most importantly, cure disease.In Africa masks can be traced back to well past Paleolithic times.

These art objects were, and are still made of various materials, included are. African masks are also used in the Mas or Masquerade of the Caribbean Carnival. is a mask-dance from Temine people in Sierra Leone. Males wear the mask, although it does depict a female.

Fang mask used for the ngil ceremony, an inquisitorial search for sorcerers. Masks may also indicate a culture's ideal of feminine beauty. African People and Culture; African Festivals and Events; African Festivals and Events.

Parent page. African People and Culture; Panafest is a biennial festival of African dance, music and other performing arts that is held every two years in Ghana.

African Festivals and Events

At each Sigui festival, a new ceremonial mask is carved especially for the occasion. Discuss the dance mask and explain why it represents the center of West African culture.

The dance mask is the center of West African culture because it symbolizes their tradition. Dance masks are used for ceremonial and rituals in West African culture%(5). "Ceremonial Dance Masks of the Oceanic and African Culture" Ceremonial headresses are a spiritual symbol of the cultures of both Oceanic and African people/5(7).

African Tribal Masks - Initiation, Ceremonial, Body & Spirit Masks.

Traditional African masks

We feature over authentic African tribal masks, sculptures, and bronzes for sale. Our products are unique, hand picked, museum quality pieces. African art at wholesale prices. Absolutely no reproductions!

An introduction to the ceremonial dance masks of the oceanic and african culture
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