African Masks

2610 WordsAug 30, 201011 Pages
CONTENTS 1. FIGURE LIST 3 2. INTRODUCTION 4 2.1 Historical background and information 4 3. CONTEXT OF CEREMONIAL AFRICAN MASKING AND THE BASIC CHARACTERISTICS THEROF 6 3.1 The Makishi Masquerades among the Chokwe and related people 6 3.2 Pwo Mask 7 3.3 The Ngidi and Makanda initiation Rites 8 3.4 Holo Mask 9 3.5 The Bambara tribe of Mali and the Chi Wara antelope Mask 9 4. CONCLUSION 11 5. BIBLIOGROPHY 12 1. FIGURE LIST Figure Page Figure 1: Unknown Artist, Pwo Mask, Wood Carving, patina and plant material, 9.5” x 10” x 10”, Private Collection, (Bastin, 1982:91). 7 Figure 2: Unknown Artist, Chi Wara antelope Mask, Wood Carving,…show more content…
These dances are a type of sexual education, presented openly to stress the fertility of this female ancestor. To highlight her supernatural attributes as an ancestral, Pwo sometimes dances on stilts or performs acrobatically skits. In this masquerades a Pwo performer will wear the Pwo mask while holding a flywhisk and a rattle made form of tin can. The Pwo mask dancer dances with the women who clap and sings to musically accompany the performer. In the following paragraph I will explain the style and elements of the Pwo mask (Van Wyk, Garratt & Stepan, 1998:67-68). 3.2 Pwo Mask Figure 1: Unknown Artist, Pwo Mask, Wood Carving, patina and plant material, 9.5” x 10” x 10”, Private Collection, (Bastin, 1982:91). The Pwo mask is a semi stylized wooden facemask with eyes that are usually elliptical in shape. The facemask is the most common mask found in Africa. The mask covers the face and has holes on the side. The eyes are half-closed and swollen eyelids are prolonged down to the centre of the concave eye-sockets. Sometimes the eyes are spherical and have horizontal slits. Occasionally the forehead has a carved headband. The ears are curved or else semi-circular with the tragus shown. The traditional scarification is usually engraved, cut away, incrusted or carved in relief. The Mask measures 9.5 inches tall x 10" wide x 10" deep and the use of wood with cam wood powder and plant fibre for hair can be seen in the Pwo
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