Table of contents:
- Access to the Otherworld
- The main meaning is protection
- Variety of types of masks
- Evolution: from primitive to realistic
- Don't rush to buy
Recently, the habit of decorating home interiors with masks has come into fashion: they are brought from exotic travels, bought in stores. Perceiving masks as a symbol of costumed masquerades, they are not taken seriously enough. Those who choose an ethnic style in the design of the room prefer the so-called African original art, without thinking about the fact that masks are not just ordinary wall decoration. And many people buy something they like outwardly, considering it a protective spirit for their home, not knowing anything about its meaning.
Access to the Otherworld
The African mask, which appeared in ancient times, played an extremely important role in mystical rites, personifying the spirit of ancestors and creating a special atmosphere. A carved work of art has always been an occult object that opens access to the invisible world of the dead. In African tribes, masks were used to connect life and death, they became a kind of key that opens the door to the other world.
The main meaning is protection
Magic totem itemhas its own meaning and carries certain information about cultural, religious traditions. Each tribe was sure of the existence of parallel worlds, and the spirits were divided into friendly and hostile. Those who wanted to harm carefully watched each of the tribe, trying to send illness and misfortune. And then the African mask came to the rescue, the meaning of which for its creator was one - protection from the dark forces through their deception. It was believed that if the spirits do not see the face, then they cannot cause any harm, and the resident of the tribe was protected by a totem thing. However, not everyone could protect themselves from spirits in this way: masks, which became an invariable attribute of power, were worn only by dedicated and noble men, which only strengthened their authority.
Variety of types of masks
The African mask was of different types, most often it had holes for the eyes, much less often a slit for the mouth was made. The design was held on laces, sometimes those participating in ritual rites held it with their teeth by an inner rod made of wood. There were masks that were worn on the forehead or worn like a helmet to the shoulders, respectively, their weight and size varied.
The African mask used in rituals made of wood of various species and depicting animals was recognized by researchers of African culture as the most ancient. Later, it was already made in strange geometric shapes, with features resembling human ones. The wood was generously soaked in oil so that the mask would not rot, and it was polished for a long time to a shine. Bright colors were applied to the surfacevegetable paints, and for expressiveness and a frightening effect, leather or metal objects were added, decorated with colorful feathers and beads.
Evolution: from primitive to realistic
Over time, the African mask has evolved, it was carved as the embodiment of the spirit, helping in various areas. The design worn on the face symbolized the bearer of strength, we alth, fertility, with its help they caused rains in dry weather, asked for help in hunting. To enhance the expressive function and a greater resemblance to nature, they even inserted real teeth and glued hair. From simplified and rough, as if carved, images were transferred to the transfer of talented realism of nature. The masks could carry distinguishing tribal features in the form of tattoos, ornaments, or hairstyles. And the images of the leaders were characterized by a clear portrait resemblance.
The African mask also got rid of the frozen expression, it began to reproduce a whole range of feelings - tears, laughter, irony, threat. The repulsive vicious look suggested a strict ban on close examination of the image. Such masks were used in terrible rituals of sacrifice, when even a casual glance could cost the life of the uninitiated in the ritual.
Don't rush to buy
Don't treat carved masks as evidence of African primitive culture and bring home such a vivid display of their creativity. The bizarre images that are born in the hands of masters will not always bring happiness and good luck to the home.Experts recommend that you first find out the meaning of the masks, and then make a purchase decision.
But a do-it-yourself African mask made of papier-mâché will not harm, it will become a source of pride and convey the inner world of the creator himself. A stylized bright craft is an original decoration of any home that will not bring trouble.