Masks portray a variety of facial characteristics; they may be abstract, animal, or a combination of human features, with exaggerated frightening expressions or superstructures. The Africans’ inventiveness in creating masks is further illustrated by the various forms, shapes, and sizes defined by the different types of masks.
is a fine example of a
. This mask is not directly attached to the dancer’s head but is held to or in front of the face as part of the costume or head covering.
covers the head; it can be two or threedimensional. Some are carved from the full trunk of a tree and cover the entire head, resting on the shoulders.
is worn on the crown of the dancer’s head, joining a costume which covers the entire body from head to toe. The dancer looks through an opening in the costume’s material. The effect is to make the dancer appear unnaturally tall, confirming the belief that he is a supernatural spirit.