Traditional masks have been used all over the world as a form of communication and storytelling. Masks can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, metal, fabric, feathers and more. They are often adorned with intricate designs and symbols that tell a story about the culture or tribe that created them. Let's take a closer look at some traditional tribal masks and learn about the meaning behind their designs!
The Mask of the Laughing Buddha, also known as the Happy Buddha, originated in China and is believed to bring joy and laughter to anyone who wears it. The small statue is often depicted with a wide smile on his face, a large belly that shakes when he laughs, and an exposed navel. He has been used for centuries by Buddhists around the world to remind them that happiness can be found in simple everyday pleasures like food or playfulness.
The Maori are indigenous people that live in New Zealand. They have long produced masks with spiritual significance for their people. One of these masks is called "Koruru," which depicts male facial features decorated with spirals meant to represent tattoos worn by tribe members in honor of heroic ancestors. Many of the Maori masks were made of wood, but some were also created from gourds and bone.
Masks like these help people to understand spiritual beliefs that are part of their everyday lives. Most tribes believe that the spirits of dead ancestors remain with their families after death, staying connected by influencing their relatives' thoughts and actions. Masks allow for this influence to become visible to others looking on, who may be able to gain wisdom or advice through them as well!
The Senufo people live in West Africa south of Mali, where they use masks during funeral ceremonies or masquerades honoring their deceased leaders. Many Masquerades feature "Nimba" masks which depict a female face with distinctive features that are said to resemble the female genitalia. The mask is meant to be representative of fertility and rebirth, while the exaggerated features also portray the woman's status in her community.
Masks like these can be extremely valuable to people who use them, making them more than just a form of entertainment or storytelling. Although masks play an important role in tribal life around the world, they often become even more significant after their creators pass away!
The Cherokee believe that all animals on earth have lessons that can teach humans how to live better lives. They honor this belief with "Tellico" masks depicting animals like deer, squirrels, terrapins and fish. Many Tellico masks include antlers made from wood or metal that represent sacred trees.
Masks like these show how closely cultures weave their spiritual beliefs into the art that they create. When you see a mask like this, it's clear that it's much more than just decoration for ceremonial purposes! Although its meaning may be difficult to understand at first, taking the time to study it provides an opportunity to learn about indigenous life and culture in new ways.
You can find traditional tribal masks all over the world, each with unique designs and stories behind them. Masks are used by many different ethnic groups as either decorative pieces or religious icons, but every tribe has its own interpretation of what they mean and how they should be used!