Masks and Masked Rituals in World Cultures
Explore other cultures and personas with Masks
Masks are used by many cultures around the world. They can be made for art, for rituals of healing and for spiritual purposes. Many mask traditions come with rich mythologies. Often masks depict totem animals or deities of significance to the wearers.
This is a Native American mask crafted by Northwestern peoples which I photographed in a Seattle museum.
Venetian Masks - Italian-style for Carnival and Mardi Gras
Venetian masks are styles that developed in the Italian town of Venice. The reasons for masking becoming popular have a wide range of historical reasoning. For whatever the reasons, maskmakers developed large guilds in Venice and created a range of styles and looks that have been associated with that region and events for many hundred years.
My Mask Collecting
This is a picture of most of my mask collection, as it hung in the hallway of my studio apartment downtown in San Francisco from fall of '92 until summer '96 when I moved.
I've done the mass mask hanging before, it's just this picture that seemd to show so many of them, sort of.... I've always wanted to have the whole collection in one place, with a large sign hung adjacently, that reads "Find Yourself."
1. Beaded spider mask from Japan - from Mom
2. Chinese opera mask
3. Korean mask - from Mom
4. Japanese mask from Disneyworld
5. Costa Rican mask - brought back from '93 trip
6. Square mask face wall art
7. "Happiness and Fear walking hand in hand" face
8. Swiss wooden face with real cow teeth and hair
9. Japanese mask made of tortoise shell with metal accents - from Mom
10. Chinese opera mask
11. Mexican mask
12. Japanese Kabuki-style mask - from Mom
13. Leather mask - made by artisan in Switzerland
14. picture of masks
15. Woven mask from Mexico - bought in Mystic, CT
The following sites provide historical and artistic references for many types of masks found in different cultures around the world.
- The Art of the African Mask
The Art of the African Mask Exhibition Catalog Bayly Art Museum, University of Virginia February - August, 1994 Copyright Â©1996. Benjamin Caleb Ray The African masks in this exhibtion are dramatic portraits of spirit beings, departed ancestors, and
- Japanese Noh Masks
There are nearly 80 different and distinct characters depicted by the masks used by traditional Japanese Noh performers. Our workshop provides collectors with those excellent quality masks, at very reasonable prices.
- JAVANESE MASK COLLECTION
The examples shown here form part of a group of 80 such masks in the collection of The Field Museum in Chicago.
- Mexican Masks
Collection of authentic danced masks from Mexico and Guatemala with comments on the art of collecting and other curious observations.
- Dancing Demons - Ceremonial Masks of Mongolia
Among the great religious festivals of Asia, the ceremonies of Mongolia stand unsurpassed in the splendor of their visual imagery and their dramatic expressiveness.
- ArtsNet Minnesota: Inner Worlds: Richard Hunt
A transformation mask is a large mask with movable parts that can be opened and closed. These complex masks are worn by Kwakiutl dancers in special ceremonies. This transformation mask was made by Richard Hunt, a 20th-century Kwakiutl artist.
- U'MISTA POTLATCH COLLECTION
The U'mista Potlatch Collection.
- Agayuliyararput - Our Way of Making Prayer
Agayuliyararput is the first exhibition of Native Alaskan Yup'ik material presented from a Yup'ik perspective.
- Noh Mask List
There are nearly 80 different and distinct characters depicted by the masks used by traditional Japanese Noh performers.
- Welcome to Cyber Hahoedong Tal Museum!! Â¡ÃÂ¡Ã
This web site shows mask gallerys from the Korean Museum of the same name.
- Commedia dell'Arte
Beginning during the Renaissance and lasting into the eighteenth century, traveling troupes performed the commedia dell' arte, the Italian comedy. The company's ten or more actors each developed a specific type of character, such as the Captain, two
- History of Carnival
Carnival celebrations around the world offer all of us a dynamic tool for self-expression and exploration.
- korean information about mask and dance
Masks are called t'al in Korean, but they are also known by many other names such as kamyon, kwangdae, ch'orani, t'albak and t'albagaji. Korean masks come with black cloth in the back to secure them behind the heads and also to simulate black hair. T
- Faces of the Spirits
Overview of various masks from African cultures.
Masked Performances - ancient and modern
Performers who use masks often work with ancient themes, symbolic characters that go beyond single cultures, myths and magic. Some of the links below are to people I have seen perform over the years who make very good use of masks in their art, work and performances. Other links are to sites which offer good historical information on specific styles of masked performances
- Sha Sha Higby
evocative and haunting performances using exquisite and ephemeral body sculpture
- Jeff McBride
Jeff McBride is one of the most innovative and entertaining magicians today. He travels around the world with his unique combination of theater, music, dance, Kabuki and classics from the world of magic, all merged together to create a one-of-a-kind
- Trance and Transformation of the Actor in Japanese Noh and Balinese Masked Dance-Drama
This study examines the effect of the mask upon the masked performer in the Balinese Topeng and Calonarang dance dramas and Japanese Noh Theatre. It represents the first systematic study of the relationship between the actor and the mask from the per
- The World of Childhood Masquerades
Discussions of masked rituals performed by various peoples of Africa, especially ones that involve children.
- The Mask Dance of the Drums from Drametse
The Drametse Ngacham (Mask Dance) of the Drametse community is a sacred cultural and religious mask dance performed during the Drametse Festival in honour of Padmasambhava, a Buddhist guru. It takes place twice a year, during the fifth month and the
- Cirque Du Soleil Masks
This unique human circus uses fantastic masks in many of their performances.
Books About Masks
You can focus on masks from one particular culture, or you can let your interest in masks range across the entire planet. The history and mythology behind the creation and usage of masks is very ancient and very complex.
Are you too a mask collector? If so, what types of masks do you collect and why? If not a collector, what do you find interesting and intriguing about masks?