Ritual and ceremonial masks are an essential feature of the traditional culture of the peoples of a part of Sub-Saharan Africa. This masks usually have a spiritual and religious meaning and they are used in ritual dances and social and religious events. In most cases, mask-making is an art that is passed on from father to son, along with the knowledge of the symbolic meanings conveyed by such masks. The person who wears a ritual mask conceptually loses his or her human life and turns into the spirit represented by the mask itself.
In the 20th century, artistic movements such as cubism, fauvism and expressionism have often taken inspiration from the vast and diverse heritage of African masks.
- Material: painted wood