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Dogon Mask - Mali. This mask type represents a rabbit (dyommo), and its wearer danced to rhythms known by the same name.

Elephant Mukenga Mask. Kuba, Zaire. Made from Cowrie Shells, Beads, Raffia, Fur, Cloth. The elephant mask, is commonly used among the Kuba, and is worn by a distinguished person during funerary rites of a titled person. The white cowrie shells embellishing this mask are symbolic; white is a color associated with death and mourning. For the Yaka, masks perform in puberty rituals for male youths, as well as assuring and protecting the future fertility of the initiated.

Africa, Sierra Leone Sande Society Mask, 20th century wood, raffia. This mask from the Sande Society in Sierra Leone was worn by a mature woman as part of an initiation ceremony for young girls entering adulthood. The mask represents the ideal of womanhood and feminine beauty among Mende women.

Famous abstract African Igbo Elephant mask from Nigeria

N’tomo Mask. Bamana people, Mali. Painted wood. Characterized by multiple horns and, sometimes, eyelashes and white shell ornamentation, these masks serve to protect young boys during their first initiation cycle before circumcision. This style, with the head of the woman in front of the horns is made by Bougouni people in Mali. The number of horns make reference to specific characteristics of males (3 or s3 horns) or females (4 or 8 horns) and the androgynous (2, 5 or 7).

lakota buffalo horse mask, circa 1860, south or north dakota | national museum of the american indian, smithsonian institution

Xantolo Mask, Hidalgo, Mexico, goat, love the asymmetrical horns

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Egungun, a Masked Ancestors of the Yoruba. The Yoruba people maintain a close connection with their deceased ancestors, whom they seek out for guidance and advice. These ancestors are believed to communicate with the living in many ways. One is through manifestation on earth in the form of masked spirits known as Egungun.

Ivory Mask from Benin, Nigeria. "This African mask is carved out of ivory for the "Oba" (king) of Benin, and is believed to be dated from the 16th Century. This mask was actually not worn over the face, but rather as a pendant, either around the neck like a necklace or hanging from the king's hip, like a belt" (Artsology). See additional resources for teaching about/with this mask at: www.artsology.com...

Zaire "Flying Protector" Mask, by Salihu Ibrahim. These kinds of masks, of Pande and Kasai tribal origin, are believed to protect from all flying evils. This version includes recycled glass beads and cotton pompom trim.

"River Goddess" a divine inhabitant of Zairian waters. Congo, made by Salihu Ibraham. The Pende people live on the banks of the Kasai River in Zaire. yearly rituals are done to show appreciation to the spirits that inhabit the waters and thank them for their protection and longevity.

Africa, Sierra Leone Sande Society Mask, 20th century wood, raffia. This mask from the Sande Society in Sierra Leone was worn by a mature woman as part of an initiation ceremony for young girls entering adulthood. The mask represents the ideal of womanhood and feminine beauty among Mende women.