African Tribal Mask

By February 9, 2020 No Comments
Antique Market African tribal mask

‘Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell the truth’, wrote Oscar Wilde.

I came across this one in an antique shop in Ghent, Belgium. I don’t know the exact origins, nor the purpose of this mask. But this one is very similar to the tribal masks from Africa.

African masks trace their lineage back into shamanism and up to date used for worshipping the gods, for sacred rituals, tribal and cultic initiation rituals. When you think about its purpose, it has dual side, both in and out. On one hand, it hides, protects, dissociates and dis-identifies. On the other hand, it reveals the archetypical emotions and provides a bridge within our psyche toward the spiritual.

Ref: The Book of Symbols, Reflections on Archetypal Images, p.722-724, Taschen, London