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CEREMONIAL AND SYMBOLIC MASKS
Transcript of CEREMONIAL AND SYMBOLIC MASKS
*Hand crafted masks were used by the Native Americans during ceremonies, and also were given as gifts
eg. Potlatch's are festivals where the chief of one tribe would give a gift to another tribe’s chief. During these ceremonies both tribes would feast and then a ceremonial dance would take place where dancers would wear beautiful masks and act out stories.
*Native American masks were usually created in the likeness of an animal
- Native Americans believed that each clan was descended from a different animal. This meant that particular Native American masks related to the clan they were from.
- Animals represented certain Native American ideas such as spirits, status, and characteristics
Lord of the Flies
Masks have been used to express the bond between man and nature. This relationship is very important to the people of Africa. They are used in various religious and social events
* Masks are used to represent spirits of ancestors, mythological heroes or can be used as a form of honoring a person
* During ritual dances, the masks can come to life, and the person who is wearing the mask becomes possessed by the spirit of the mask.
* Masks represent spirits of animals and the one who bears the mask, becomes that animal himself which allows for communication with that animals. Eg. Some one would put on the mask of an animal to ask the animal to keep away from the village
* Masks represent values eg. To represent wisdom, a mask has a bulging forehead
* Masks are used for shamanic rituals, exorcisms and funeral rituals
* In the theatre or opera, masks are painted specific colours to represent the values of a character.
Eg. Actors with yellow painted masks portray characters that are cruel, evil and hypocrites. A red painted mask symbolizes positive values of a character like loyalty and courage.
* During Chinese New Year masks are worn to welcome the New Year throughout the world.
An example would be the Dragon mask. The dragon mask is a symbol of good luck, fortune and prosperity for farming, harvesting and rain.
*The Kwele protect themselves against the power of witchcraft with the 'beete' ritual.
*The 'beete' is a ritual that involves purification by the spirits who are represented in the form of 'ekuk' masks. 'Ekuk' means the 'spirits of the forest' and the 'children of the beete'.
*Kwele masks represent the antelope whose flesh was eaten at the end of the 'beete' ritual.
*masks in Korea are called Ta'l
*masks enabled performers in theatrical plays to anonymously express their criticisms of powerful and corrupt members of the aristocracy or the Buddhist monastic hierarchy
* Shamans used masks in cleansing rituals to drive away evil spirits of illness or bad luck out of an individual or a village.
eg. Talnori, or mask dance. A shaman and her assistants would put on masks and dance in order to scare away the demons.
*Masks were very important to the burial/ funeral practices in Egypt
*masks played a role of transforming an individual from a mortal to a divine state.
The funerary mask served to protect and guide the spirit of the deceased on its journey to the afterlife.
In the beginning, people wore masks during Mardi Gras to escape society and class segregation. Carnival goers were free to be whomever they wanted to be, and mingle with whatever class they desired to mingle with.
*masks are used as a right of passage into adulthood
*After lengthy teachings and initiation rites, the youth emerge from the initiation area wearing a large, colourful mask and is introduced to the villagers as an adult of the tribe.
Native American Mask
of Nuxalt Tribe
Humans began using masks thousands of years ago for various purposes. Most masks are used for disguise, protection against evil, entertainment, or ritualistic purposes. In the ancient world, masks were a linkage between the earth and the world of gods, invisible powers, and the unknown. There numerous styles of masks created from a variety of materials and colours. The design of the mask is influenced by culture. The materials they are made out of depend on what they are being used for. Some common material masks are made out of include: stones, metals, animal skins, leather and cloth, paper and grass, shells, feathers, clay and paint.
This stone mask from the pre-ceramic neolithic period dates to 7000 BC and is said to be the oldest mask in the world
Burial Mask of Pharaoh Tutankhamen
Western and Central Democratic Repulic of Congo
-The mask is introduced in chapter 4
Painted Faces and Long Hair.
-The mask was made out of red and white clay, and a charcoal. As the story develops, the hunters smear pigs blood on their faces, and use it as a mask.
-The mask had many purposes in the novel:
The paint makes the boys unrecognizable:
"He looked in astonishment, no longer at himself but at an awesome stranger" (4. 66)
"Savages appeared, painted out of recognition" (11)
The paint enables the boys to lose their identity. Being anonymous allows the boys to behave in an uncivilized manner without having to deal with the repercussions.
"...the mask was a thing on its own, behind which Jack hid, liberated from shame and self-consciousness" (4.66)
“They understood only too well the liberation into savagery that the concealing paint brought.”
Not only does the mask camouflage Jack and the hunters but, it turns them into savages. The mask represents the liberation of the inner evil nature of man. In the novel, the paint frees the boys from the rules and morals established by their parents and teachers, and allows them to act wild and barbaricly.
The masks first use is for disguise:
"They don't smell me, they see me I think. Something pink under the trees" (4.65)
"For hunting. Like in war. You know dazzle paint. Like things trying to look like something else" (4.66)
Jack comes to the realization that he is unsuccessful at hunting because the pig he preys upon keeps spotting him. He uses paint to camouflage himself, and ambushes the pig with the rest of the hunters.
-The mask becomes a ritual for Jack and the hunters.
-When the boys paint their faces they become completely different people.
-When they reenact killing the of the pig, they chant ""Kill the beast! Cut her throat! Spill her blood".
-They couple this chant with dancing around in a circle.
-The mask, chant and dance put the boys into a trance like state transforming them into blood thirsty savages capable of killing without remorse.
Bembe Initiation Mask