GOODWILL ART GUIDE — Craft, Design & Culture

AFRICAN MASKS
In villages throughout Africa the mask is part of a masquerader’s costume. Its first purpose is to act as a temporary dwelling place for a spirit. It can cover just the face or the entire head, while the rest of the body is hidden with fringes of raffia palm fibre and long flowing robes. Here are outstanding examples, some still in use, from many places.



The African continent is one of the areas of the world where the true meaning of a mask is still apparent; where masks continue to be made and worn for dancing, ceremonial and ritual.
However, nearly all the examples chosen are museum pieces — acquired for the most part by European travellers during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
At first they were mainly objects of study for anthropologists. But nowadays such masks are recognised as occupying an important place in the wider spectrum of African art, which is being displayed in art galleries as well as museums. Masks like these continue to be ‘collected’; and this is perhaps fortunate, since they are often made of varieties of wood with a limited lifespan.
African society is changing under the cultural pressures from the outside world. These outstanding examples — now carefully preserved in museums in Africa as well as outside — belong to the heritage of a disappearing world.


Price £15............

The 25 images and 36 pages in this e-book offer concise information, teaching ideas  and the opportunity for fresh and creative thinking about the subject.

Other Craft, Design and Culture titles:

Jewellery & Body Adornment
Pots through the Ages
Chairs
Constructed Textiles
Printed, Dyed &
Painted Textiles

Sewn, Pieced
& Embroidered Textiles

Masks Old and New
Animals & Birds

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LIST OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

PART 1
Part of a living culture
Used mostly by men
Masquerade costume
Audience participation
What masks are made of
Sculptural forms
Different types of masks
Traditional carvers

PART 2
Points for discussion and suggested classroom activities
PART 3
LOOKING AT THE MASKS
Mali
Burkina Faso
Côte d’Ivoire
Nigeria
Cameroon
Gabon
Cabinda Enclave, Angola
Congo
Zaire
Angola
Map