The African mask functions in two primary ways: one is for public ceremonies with audience participation; the other provides a private ceremony for members of a secret society. Common major rituals used by these tribes and others are rituals of myth, fertility, funerals, ancestor cults, and initiations.
Mythological animals, heroes, and the moon are represented in these rituals. Fertility and increase of humans, animals, or the earth are among the most vital concerns of the African. The African depends intensely upon harmony with nature and his gods, versus our modernized Western culture. Fertility also plays a part in agriculture and burial ceremonies.