Masks, Neutral Masks And African Masks Essay

2383 Words Nov 7th, 2016 10 Pages
‘A mask expresses at the same time the maximum of life and the maximum of death; it partakes of the visible and of the invisible, of the apparent and absolute’ said Barrault (1961: 77), however the question is, what is a mask, what is the maximum of life, death, the invisible and visible. To an extent, I agree with the statement, but as Shujoy Chowdhury claimed, ‘ behind every truth there is always a lie ’ (Goodreads, 2016). Evaluating contrasting masks (coverings for the face) like the Japanese Noh Masks, Neutral masks or African masks will clarify and moreover give us major knowledge of what the maximum of death, life, visible, invisible, apparent and absolute are. The reason to choose especially that three masks is that in them is appreciable two extremes (African and Japanese masks) balanced by the Neutral. Having contrasting masks and contradictory concepts, can a covering for the face express two maximum contrast abstractions like the death and the life simultaneously ?

Initiating with the African Masks, “they are used in religious and social events to represent the spirits of ancestors or to control the good and evil forces in the community” (ArtyFactory, The function of an African mask, 2016). The perfect example of the Dogon entity is situated in Western Africa, Mali (Van Beek et al. 2011). This populace illustrates both the maximum of death, life, the invisible and visible in a “practical masquerade dances that essentially leads the souls of the departed to their…

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