Masking Our Fears

Masking Our Fears

TODAY: Miss Simandl will be giving a PowerPoint presentation on your next project.MASKS! Please take will help you with your project and with tomorrows activity. In your notes, please write down the name of your 3 favorite masks and some information about each one. Tomorrow, class will be meeting in Room 229. We will be researching cultural masks on the Internet. Masking Our

Fears A History of Masks From Around the World Definition of a Mask: A mask is an artifact normally worn on the face, typically for protection, concealment, performance, or amusement. Masks have been used since antiquity for both ceremonial and practical purposes. They are usually, but not always, worn on the face, although they may also be positioned for effect elsewhere on the wearer's head. Ritual masks occur throughout the world, and although they

tend to share many characteristics, highly distinctive forms have developed. The function of the masks may be magical or religious; they may appear in rites of passage or as a make-up for a form of theatre. Equally masks may disguise a penitent or preside over important ceremonies; they may help mediate with spirits, or offer a protective role to the society who utilize their powers Masks From Different Cultures: Africa Asia Europe North America

South and Central America African Masks Gre Warrior Mask This mask was used to preside over ceremonies held after armed conflicts; it was also used as a judge during disputes. Traditionally, gre masks were also worn to prepare men for war; the masks offered magical protection by instilling fear and terror in potential enemies.

Nowadays, it is worn for a variety of ceremonies, including ent-ertainment dances. Mgbedike Mask Masks such as this are distinguished by their large size and bold, exaggerated features, including an open, snaggle-toothed mouth. Their purpose is to oppose the maiden spirit

mask, which represents a beautiful, marriageable girl. 'La Plume' Feather Spirit Masks Historically used in Do society initiation rituals, Bwa masks represent the spirits of nature that influence human beings. Wishing to control these forces and enlist their help against the powers of

destruction, Bwa masks make the spirits visible, and thus open to communication. Mwana Pwo Mask This mask, known as pwo, represents the ideal of womanhood and female beauty, and is used to bestow fertility.

Asian Masks Noh Masks In Japan masks belong to a highly developed theatrical tradition. Its purpose used to be strictly religious but this has long since changed. Of all the Japanese masks the Noh mask is said to be the most

artistic one. Noh Mask-Japan The masks used in Noh theatre generally show a neutral expression so it is up to the skill of the actor to bring the mask to life through his acting. The parts are all acted by men, so the task of performing as a young woman

is one of the most challenging for any actor. The masks are comparatively small and they only cover the front of the face having only small holes for eyes, nostrils and mouth. Di Opera Masks-China Ornate, hand-painted wooden masks are used in traditional Chinese opera to reenact myths and legends. This mask

depicts a dedicated officer who guarded a Tang dynasty emperor's bedroom chamber against evil spirits. Chinese Hand-Carved Wooden Joy Mask The character on the masks forehead is the Chinese word for "joy"

Indian & Himalayan Masks Hindu Festival Mask The shape and construction of this mask is that of a typical festival mask. However, it represents a mythic character with a split personality. Mahakala Mask

Whether it is to protect village crops from hailstone damage or the victory of Padmasambhava over hurtful deities, the Mahakala character is ever present in ceremonies throughout the Himalayan region. His third eye expresses the wisdom of omniscience. The five skulls signify victory over the five emotional obscurations. These masks are used to defeat evil spirits and, when not being

used for a ceremony, are hung on the walls of Tibetan homes. European Masks Harlot Mask- Germany Fasching, also called Carnival, was an annual festival very much like the Madi Gras and has been celebrated since the 13th century in many German cities and villages. Below the dark eye shadow the masks eyelids are blue sequins and long lashes of fine copper wire.

There are eye openings in the mask hidden behind the lashes and vision is surprisingly good, plus openings in the mask below the nose for breathing and at the mouth. The masks huge pink lips in combination with the seductive eye treatment surely suggest a harlot. Folk Mask Romanians used masks in

rituals concerned with fertility, rainfall, hunting, and for initiations in ancient times. Today they are still used to represent characters from folk mythology at special holidays such as Christmas and New Years, or for an important life events like a wedding or a death. Only men wear them. It is forbidden to say the name of the person under the mask.

Romanian Folk Mask An authentic folk mask made by Nicolae Popa for the traditional Christmas/ New Year celebration that is still popular in many rural villages. This rather large mask covers the entire head. North American Masks

Iroquois Blower or Whistler Mask The Blower Mask is part of the Iroquois False Face Society of the longhouse religion. The Iroquois lived in longhouses along what is now called the Hudson River Valley. The eyes of the mask are made of copper to reflect the light of the fire.

Frog Mask The Haida held a set of beliefs about the way the human world interacted with the natural and supernatural worlds. Among the Haida the masks were used mostly by members of the secret societies. Secret societies frequently used masks to represent wild spirits or animals of the woods like

the frog. Laughing Mask In the mythology of the Kwakwakawakw people, the Dzunukwa, or Cannibal Woman, is a dangerous monster. Twice the normal height, with a black, hairy body and sagging breasts, she lurks in the forest and eats children. The Cannibal Woman

is represented by a mask such as the one shown here, worn by a dancer during a Winter Ceremony. This frightening character is also associated with riches, and, according to legend, men who could tame her would bring back great treasure. South and Central America Tigre Mask- Mexico Throughout Mexico one finds

dances about fearsome maneating tigres (jaguars), which may be holdovers from before the Spanish conquest. In preColumbian traditions these dances had the purpose of petitioning the jaguar god, the lord of all animals, so that he would permit successful hunting for the villagers. Tocotines Moor Mask From the area of Jalapa, this unique mask is used

for la danza del Tocotines, a variant of the Dance of the Christians and Moors. Painted in red, white, with silver or black eyebrows and mustaches, these are among the most distinctive masks of Mexico. Ajiz Mask-Guatemala Ajiz is an ancient character, a kind of

shaman or medicine man, who is a character in the Conquest and other dances, but can also be seen as a religious icon. Devil Mask-Bolivia The devil mask captures the essence of the Oruro Carnival. The devil or Supay

represents the Andean pre-conquest underworld figure that was lord of the hills and transmogrified by the Christians as the Devil. Bolivian Moreno Mask After the conquest, black slaves were imported for heavy work in Bolivia. The Morenada depicts these "Ethiopians" with a cast of

characters including workers, women, a captain, and a king. It is part of the festival of the "Senor del Gran Poder" held in La Paz each year. What do you think? Which masks are most appealing to you? Why do you feel this way? What is interesting about them? What are the purposes of the cultural masks we have seen? What are they used for?

What are different masks that you can think of in American culture today? What do these masks represent? Are there any similarities between American masks today and masks from different cultures in the past? The End! Please work for the rest of class on sketching images you would like on your mask and

thinking of what each piece represents.

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