African Masks | Symbolism, Culture & Art
While culture, rituals, creative expression differ widely across the continent of Africa, one thing that seems to be congruent is the use of masks in rituals and ceremonies.
African Masks seem to have been in existence from before the Paleolithic era. Made from a wide variety of materials, they generally represent spirits of wildlife, ancestors, mythology or are metaphors for moral values.
Artisans who create masks are very honoured, mostly because it is widely believed that in order to create a mask, the artist must have a contact with the spirit world.
Like many African artistic talents, mask making is passed down over countless generations, with the older and more experienced mentoring the young.
Here's one of our favourite examples - a set of Giraffe Masks. Can't you just see this impish pair peeking down at you?