African Masks - Woyo Mask
Woyo masks are carved for the ritual dances of the 'ndunga', a male society responsible for maintaining social order. The Woyo believe in witchcraft. Ordeals by fire and poison are used to determine the guilt of those who have been practicing sorcery. What does the woyo mask represent? The Woyo mask represents power, pride, and onlinenicedating.com colours used in a Woyo mask have symbolic meaning and are sometimes repainted to .
Tribal masks are used to represent the spirits of ancestors or to control the forces of good and evil. I n what country is taipei in early 20th Century, artists like Pablo Picasso and Andre Derain were inspired by the bold abstract designs that they discovered in African tribal masks.
They collected and used these works of art to influence their own styles of Cubism and Fauvism. In effect, they used African culture to refresh the tired tradition of figure painting in Western Art.
As a result, we now tend to admire the bold design and abstract patterns of African masks through European eyes.
We appreciate them as exhibits on museum walls, cut off from their traditional meaning and magical power. However, this is not how they were designed to be viewed. A frican masks should be seen as part of a ceremonial costume. They are used in religious and social events to represent the spirits of ancestors or to control the good and evil forces in the community.
They come to life, possessed by their spirit in the performance of the dance, and are enhanced by the music, color and atmosphere of the occasion. Some combine repersent and animal features to unite man with his natural environment. This bond with nature and the spirit world is of great importance to many tribal cultures and through the ages masks have always been used to express this relationship. Scroll To Top. The Function of an African Mask Tribal masks are used to represent the spirits of ancestors or to control the forces of good and evil.
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Their sculpture includes masks of the ndunga, a male society whose dances mark particular occasions including installations of tribal elders, funerals, celebrations, or the presence of great danger. The ndunga masks of the Woyo are characterized by their large size. These masks are worn with proportionately voluminous costumes of dried banana leaves that fully cover the dancers’ body. The Woyo reside near the mouth of the Congo river, in western Congo and in the western part of the enclave of Cabinda in Angola. Their masks represent ‘earth spirits’, the most important spirits in the Woyo’s religious belief. The masks, called ‘ndunga’, are owned by the ‘Bakama’ secret society. The woyo people believe in sorcery. what is the woyo mask used for. The woyo people believe in sorcery and use their mask to determine the guilt of a person,as well as maintaining social order. why must the yohure mask be cept away from women. They must be kept out of sight of women for fear of the effects that the supernatural powers of the Yu spirits may have on them.
Why do Africans make masks? African tribal masks have, for the longest time, played a vital role in celebrations, rituals, and tribal initiations. Due to its diversity in cultures, Africa has a rich history of making and wearing masks. Most of the masking rituals are accompanied by song, dance, and prayer.
Different masks from various African tribes are worn for specific reasons. For instance, some are used as icons of power to chase away evil spirits while others are for celebratory purposes and thanksgiving after a successful harvest.
Among the people who wear African masks, there are the traditional healers, rainmakers, and young boys during their initiation into adulthood. Below we take a look at the various types of African masks and their meaning. What are the types of African masks?
Even though there are thousands of communities in Africa with masking rituals, we shall only explore a few African masks meanings. List of the greatest ancient mysteries of Africa. This African mask has its origin in Cameroon. This particular type of cover is created in honour of the king and prominent chiefs. The masks are decorated with colourful beads, which are symbols of great wisdom while the cowry shells portray wealth.
The Bamileke masks are viewed as objects of power; hence, it is used during crucial ceremonies and rituals to worship the royal ancestors of the present king.
The mask also protects its people and guarantees the fertility of the land and the women in the community. Due to this, Bamileke masks are worn during planting and harvesting, war expeditions, the annual festival of the dry season, and during the opening of the royal hunt.
The Pende mask is worn by the Kasai Pende community, which resides in the eastern part of their territory in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This tribal mask combines the human and buffalo features and is decorated with engraved triangular grids painted with dark and light colourings creating a checkboard effect. Amazing guide to South African culture and traditions. The Pende mask is used to communicate with the spirits during communal rituals. This is because the Kasai Pende believe that the spirits can influence their quality of life either negatively or positively. It is also hung above the door or window of the chief's office.
The Yohure is a carefully crafted mask with a blend of human and animal characteristics. It has horns, stretched face with a high forehead, arched eyebrows , and a low prodding mouth. This African mask is worn during dance rituals to aid the villagers in grieving the death of one of them. It is believed that the mask symbolizes the Yu spirits that help to restore the social balance after mourning.
Because the Yohure masks are considered powerful and dangerous, they are kept away from women's sight as it is believed they can harm them.
The Baule mask is also referred to as a Goli mask, is one of the famous West African masks. It is mainly used during cultural dances in the harvest seasons, at the funeral of distinguished figures, and in processions to celebrate eminent visitors. The circular face of the Baule mask signifies the life-giving force of the sun while its horns represent the strength of the buffalo.
Woyo masks are decorated with contrasting colours on a white background and are worn together with costumes created from banana leaves. The colours painted on the mask have a symbolic meaning, and at times, it gets repainted to renew the mask's power. Woyo is an African warrior mask as it is created for the ritual dance of the 'ndunga', a male group in charge of maintaining law and order in the community. Because the Woyo community believes in witchcraft, these masks are used to help them determine the guilt of individuals practising sorcery.
The Dan masks feature a high forehead, pointed chin, and a pouting mouth. They also have scarification marks that split the forehead and nose. They are made from wood and painted with brown dye.
Here is a collection of various African tribal tattoos. These masks are observed as sacred items that are used for protection and channels of communication with the old spirit world. The Dan tribesmen carry small masks while travelling to give them personal protection. This tribal African mask is crafted from wood and stained with red 'tukula' powder. It has coffee bean-shaped eyes with a triangular checkerboard design on the eyebrows.
To add, the masks have feathers placed on top of them. Senufo masks are made by professional artists that reside away from the rest of the community. These traditional African masks also combine both human and animal physical characteristics. Senufo masks are symbols of power and are used as a mode of communication between the living and the spirit world. Besides, the masks are used to teach young men their traditions and responsibilities during rites of passage for the Poro society.
Famous African tribes with unique cultures, traditions, and rituals. The Kota mask possesses stylized heads and simple lozenge-shaped bodies. Convex faces represent males while concave ones epitomize females. Some Kota masks have faces on both ends of the head and are referred to as Kota statues caretaker or container figures. It is believed it safeguards the remnant of ancestors that are inside a box, basket, or bundle known as 'Bwete'. The Kota community worships the remains of their ancestors as they believe they have the power to assist them in times of trouble.
Ligbi masks, just like others, are carved from wood and combine animal and human features. The mask has an elongated face trimmed with wings on each side. Its eyes are shaded while its mouth is rectangular. Ligbi masks are used to mark the end of Ramadhan. The wearers of the mask dance in pairs as they showcase their synchronized movements. Makeup and jewellery are used to compliment the Ligbi masks during the celebrations. Famous African goddesses and gods that you should know about.
Most African masks signify a spirit, and it is believed that the spirits will possess the wearer. African tribal masks are worn for grave reasons like encouraging human fertility, ensuring a good harvest, for burial rituals, ancestral worship, for protection from evil spirits, and rituals like rites of passage, among others. Face masks are the most common, but there are others like helmet masks, forehead masks, headdress masks, shoulder masks, and helmet crest masks. No doubt that the various African tribal masks are of significance to the communities that make them.
Are you from a tribe that has tribal masks? Share with us on the comment section below so that we can know more about the famous African masks and their role in society. Sotho culture information that you may not know.
Read also List of the greatest ancient mysteries of Africa. Read also Amazing guide to South African culture and traditions. Read also 12 amazing African weapons and armors. Read also Here is a collection of various African tribal tattoos. Read also Famous African tribes with unique cultures, traditions, and rituals. Read also Famous African goddesses and gods that you should know about. Read also Sotho culture information that you may not know.
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