The most famous and recognised art style of Africa is their mask making,creation and symbolic meaning behind them. African masks are usually created to express religious ideas and meanings. Since indigenous African religions are animistic, the masks usually display symbols from nature. There has been a great history in Africa of religious ceremonial dances related to the growing of the crops, celebration of births, deaths, and important tribal festives to honour the animal spirts for protection and blessing ultimately creating control and peace throughout the tribes,which is mentally rewarding for the Nuna peoples.
The Buffalo mask (made by the ‘Nuna tribe’ in Sothern Burkina Faso-Africa) -is symbolic and spiritual to those of the Nuna tribe, and is now situated in the Hampton University museum. The Buffalo Mask follows a very general stylistic pattern. It has round protruding eyes which are surrounded by an array of circles and a short triangular shaped snout slightly below. Decorative geometric patterns cover the whole surface of the mask. The Buffalo created from wood and pigment has two large ears curving until an almost perfect circle is met. Various carvings engraved have revealed deep ridges into the mask which add great effect and pronounce the buffalos features to a further point. The mask is made of wood and various shades of pigment including cream and light chocolate brown which surround the eyes, snout and top of the semi circled ears.
The artist has used a carving technique to make engravements and shapes into the surface of the mask. The triangular snout of the buffalo is hollowed, which has most probably been carved out to create this 3-D shape. The Nuna tribe have used dark and light shades of earthy pigment tones which allows its features to stand out.
The Essay on African Kifwebe Masks Nicholas
Nicholas A. Trifiletti Ideas in the Visual Arts I 9 1: 00 MWF The Songye Masquerade INTRODUCTION When I again entered the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum, I immediately asked the security guards where the African collection was located. I passed through the Chinese and Japanese galleries but nothing drew my attention more than the African mystique. As I entered the room a distinct smell came across my ...
As quoted by faces of the spirits website ;“The Buffalo threatens and protects” .This mask was obviously made to honour the powerful animal spirits living in the world around the Nuna Tribe. The mask is greatly used for celebration through dance. Dancers may use the mask along with others to perform at market days, funerals, and initiations accompanied by drummers beating to particular cultural rhythms. In ceremonial use masks are a big part of the festive including the Buffalo Mask which is one of the main focal masks in the ritual. Firstly the dancers are greeted by the audience with traditional songs of Africa. Each dancer individually gives a solo performance with their own mask representing each animal spirit. The dancer behind the buffalo mask begins by standing motionless in the center of a circle created while staring into the distance, as if perceiving a possible threat in the distance. Suddenly, the dancer moves forward, stamping their feet and violently tossing their head (mask) up and down, destroying any perceived danger or energy felt within the atmosphere. Performing for a large audience in this fashion is the way Nuna families and clans honour the powerful animal spirits where they seek good fortune. The buffalo mask also expresses many religious views or ideas where ‘Nuna’ beliefs are followed.
The Buffalo Mask is very important not only to the tribe, but also the culture of Africa. The mask is ultimately a key to the spirits in which they call upon for spiritual blessing and protection which is very similar to those who follow e.g. Christianity; who prey for God’s blessing and protection for their loved ones and themself. In comparison it shows how much the buffalo and the meaning of masks are to Africa and how important they really are seen as by others. This can be compared to on the importance of the cross in Christianity. They are just as much important to the status of their religion. Therefore, the Masks of Africa are very family oriented and are seen as agents for social peace and control.
The Term Paper on Discuss either internal or external factors that influence Africa
Colonialism is a thing of the past that can be traced probably since the beginning of man existence. The old empire of Greece, Rome, Mali and Song hay were a reflection of man’s urge to expand. The scramble for and the passion for Africa between 1885-1900 brought to Africa different type of colonialism. We had direct or indirect rule which was especially used by the British, second we had the ...
The Nuna tribe have definitely been successful in the artwork of the mask and the practical use for the mask found. The Buffalo mask therefore is not just a piece of great artwork, but is a symbol of Africa. This piece of artwork is not only for observation but is used for recreation and rituals used through dance and celebration.