Masks can create different sensations, could be surprise, intrigue or fear, I think they don’t go unnoticed by anyone. Even for the little ones! They are around the world, but in this blog, we like those that are part of millenary cultures and that have a lot of tradition. And it is increasingly common to see them decorating houses in eclectic or bohemian style.
I think it is important to know a little more about the story behind each one and to generate a little awareness of the meaning they have for those craftsmen who make it or for those communities that use it in their festivities or rituals.
The African masks have sculptural forms that have a cultural and symbolic meaning behind them. The shape of these masks allows them to be used in different ways: vertical covering the face, as a helmet covering the head or as a crest on the head.
Some of them that are used only for spiritual purposes, are used only once and then thrown away or burned. When it comes to rituals, they are representing deities, mythological gods or beasts, in a metaphorical way to represent death, animals, etc. These rituals are performed to prepare for hunting or war, fertility, circumcision, beginning adulthood, among others.
The masks are part of the ceremonial crafts of this country. These masks allow them to identify with their gods and those mythological and even historical figures of their popular culture. It is achieved a transformation of the person who wears the mask, by adopting the identity of their deities and characters already mentioned. Even today, masks are still worn, especially on festivities in different regions of Mexico.
The masks are undoubtedly associated with the different typical dances throughout Peru. They are present in local festivals, patron saints, religious and in agricultural festivities. That is, they have an ornamental purpose as well as religious and ritual.
They, in addition, manage to identify the essence of the region to which they belong and all the traditions, beliefs and history depending on their origin.
Bali and Java
The Bali and Java masks have a different meaning, but at the same time special. The Balinese have long believed that the gods are present in all things, so they created beautiful homes for them to reside or a way for them to visit the physical world.
When they are designed for sacred ceremonies, they follow specific instructions and traditions for their manufacture. Among them the material with which it will be manufactured, the time of manufacture, the form of creation and others. These masks are stored in cotton bags and found in temples. So, it is inappropriate for a tourist to buy these masks, but there are masks for decorative purposes that can be purchased to decorate our homes.
Do you like to collect masks at home?
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