For many centuries African Tribal masks, played a major role in rituals, celebrations, ceremonial and tribal initiations. Masking rituals are normally accompanied with prayer, music, song and or dance. Before the sculpting start, the artisan purifies himself and performs a prayer, consulting the divine forces and the spirits of his ancestor's for guidance. The divine force will be transferred to the mask during the sculpting process. The carver also offers a sacrifice to the spirit of the tree. Once the tree is felled the sculptor leaves it for a day or two, so that the spirit of the tree can find a "new home", thereafter he brings the tree to his workshop to starts the process of carving the mask.
Some masks are used as Icons of power to ward off evil spirits and some are used to celebrate and thank the ancestors during crop harvesting. Rainmakers, traditional healers and even the young men that graduate from initiation school wear masks and full tribal clothing during rituals or ceremonies. Over the last few decades there has been a sharp decline in masking rituals.
Masks displayed in museums or art galleries are but one component of the cultural ethos as a whole. Masks in Africa have an original setting and atmosphere. Men and or women that wear masks are fully dressed in traditional tribal attire or in accordance with the theme or significance of the event. Song, dance, music and or prayer accompany masking ceremonies, along with the entire village folk that participate in the ceremony or festival.
The masks displayed in our catalog come from various countries and tribes on the continent. Similar masks were used during rituals, ceremonies and or initiations. Each piece in our collection has been hand selected and is of the finest quality available. We here at Rebirth sincerely hope you find the pieces displayed in our catalog just as exciting and intriguing as we do.