History of Tribal African mask

Welcome back to False Face everyone. This blog is going to very interesting as it is all about African masks. If you liked the previous blogs you are going to love this too. African masks have a lot of interesting history behind them.


African Tribal Masks by JustinBowen




One of the fundamental attributes of culture of African people groups is utilization of masks in customs and services. It is trusted that the earliest masks were used as a part of Africa before Paleolithic time. They speak to spirits of creatures or ancestors, legendary saints, moral qualities or a type of respecting of a man typically. They are produced using wood, earthenware, textiles, copper and bronze. Subtle elements could be produced using animal teeth, hair, bones and horns, seashells and even straw and egg shells. Producer of the masks has a high rank in the town since it is trusted that he has a contact with a soul world and making masks is an art go down in the family.

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African masks are most ordinarily formed like a human face or a gag of some animal. Masks are exceptionally adapted on the grounds that African societies recognize external look of something and its quintessence. These covers are made to speak to a unique subject, which clarifies stylization. Animals are visit subject of African craft of mask making. They speak to the soul of an animal and one that bears the mask, turns into that animal himself which takes into consideration correspondence with that animal, for example to request that animal to avoid the town. In different cases animal is an image of righteousness. The most widely recognized animal that is spoken to with mask are wild ox, hyena, sell, crocodile and pronghorn. Antelope is a standout amongst the most broadly utilized animal mask. It symbolizes horticulture and is worn to empower better crops. Horns speak to development of millet, legs foundations of the plants while ears speak to tunes that ladies sing in the collect time. Masks are at times made with points of interest from various animals and afterward they speak to some ethicalness. For example, to speak to the power, covers are made to have pronghorn horns, crocodile teeth and teeth of a warthog. Mask speaking to qualities can likewise be of human shape. Mask speaking to smoothness and tolerance has half-shut eyes, one having little mouth and eyes speak to lowliness while mask that speaks to wisdom has a wide protruding forehead. Mask with a vast chin speaks to power and quality.

One more topic for African masks is female face made by perfect of ladylike excellence. While masks of a few tribes have bosoms and fancy scars some other have almond molded eyes, bended eyelashes, thin chin and trimmings. This is considered as characteristics of magnificence in females for their individual tribes. Wearing of these female masks is held for men.


Mask that speak to ancestor are most ordinarily formed as a human skull. They are utilized as a part of different functions as witnesses, dead tribal defenders from which endorsement is asked or as subjects to whom regards are paid.


Mask is worn by an artist that then gets to be “conveyor” of the soul of the mask, a kind of a medium between the tribe and a soul. This stupor like state is refined with a particular music and a move. Functions as weddings, start rituals and funerals have a masked dance.  

In next blog, we are going to talk about types of african mask. I hope that will be an interesting topic to discuss on. Stay tuned to know more.


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