What are African masks designs and their meanings?

African culture is very interesting and unusual. Today we will study African masks designs.

african masks
African masks are used by the people of Africa  everywhere, almost no event is completed  without them. African masks design and meaning are can be much spoken about.

Also without the mask, it is difficult to imagine a clown or a doctor, the members of secret societies.

Of course,  African masks design meaning  may is not the same and each symbolizes something more than just appearance.

The representatives of different ages have different masks, their coloring and shape depend on the position in society and social status.

african masks

In some cases, the mask repeat the facial features of their hosts, thus have some features in the form of patterns to apply on the skin.

This is due to the fact that in many African tribes the body is applied to specific patterns.

If a hundred years ago the inhabitants of Europe, the African mask was perceived as something awful, ugly and stupid, then later such a mask  was tried to be composed by artists and famous creative people. Sometimes it was impossible.

As it turned out, at first glance the mask is primitive, simple, but in fact it is not.
READ ALSO: 15 African instruments that will amaze you

The types of African masks interior design

In Africa it is believed that the world is inhabited by spirits. Everybody believes this fact, even the representatives of the civilized countries. Spirits are everywhere: in water, in the mountains, inside the animal.

African masks design ideas serve as a kind of guide into this world. Therefore, even at the funeral they are used but of different kind.

More serious human masks help Africans to say goodbye to the dead, to talk to him for the  last time, to help him to find a smooth  path to another world.

african masks

Design of African masks vary:


mask helmets;

forehead  African mask;

comb mask

body masks

board masks

Facial African masks are everywhere. They can be used in any rituals.  Both women and men wear them, do not forget about children. Masks differ not only in form but in meaning.

African masks differ according to the nature of their production: holes for eyes, nose, mouth and even cheeks may be present or may be absent. The same can be said about the colors, paint, size. Each tribe has its own rules.

Mask helmets are made of wood. The middle is cut out and the outer part serves for cutting certain patterns.

Forehead African masks usually consist of leaves and tissues. This mask is attached to a mount fixed in the center of the forehead.

Comb masks are the most common Souvenirs from Africa. They are often brought to Europe. It is, rather, figures of animals or humans that rise to a certain height over your head.

african masks

Body African masks are applied to pregnant women who need protection from the evil eye.

The mask of the boards can be seen or not. Normally made in the shape of a bird. The mask must be fixed to the forehead with the help of  usual fabrics or leaves, sturdy plants.

What are African masks

Due to the fact that there are many  types of masks in Africa it depends on which tribe is under consideration, it is difficult to classify them at all. So share the following:





In some cases, without a certain knowledge and skills about ethnic groups is difficult to determine even the fact, whose mask it is, male or female. But the product of the hermaphroditic is very rare – in Africa, sexual division is clearly visible in everything.

Culture in Africa allows zoomorphic masks. Each of them sings a certain animal, like a strong creature.

In Africa, people believe that some creatures have great strength, so wear a mask with their images to become part of this power.

In some tribes African masks are difficult in classification. It can be a mask for a person of either sex, in the form of several animals at once.

Who uses African masks

Masks are often used by tribes. They do this craft seriously and with extreme detail.

Fishing and agriculture without masks is impossible. It is believed that the person wearing the African mask transforms into a different creature, which is capable of doing everything.

People in masks communicate  with nature, getting closer to it, thus asking for fertility.

african masks

 Also a kind of mask is needed while  ritual dances, weddings, inviting of men to the next age group, when restricting  status, reaching a certain height..

To make a long story short,  African style is unique in its kind. It  is original, rich, complex.  Observing  African tribes masks, it is difficult to say that this is a usual or dull decoration.

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