Woyo masks are ritual masks made by the Woyo people of Central Africa.
They are used by the Ndunga, a male society that was responsible for maintaining social order. The colors had symbolic meaning. The Woyo people believed in witchcraft, and the masks would be used in trials concerning witchcraft. They were also used during tribal ceremonies.
Woyo masks are carved for the ritual dances of the ‘ndunga’, a male society responsible for maintaining social order. The Woyo believe in witchcraft. Ordeals by fire and poison are used to determine the guilt of those who have been practicing sorcery.
Lwalwa Tribal Territory They live in the southwest area of the Democratic Republic of the Congo stretching into Angola.
Beete Mask: Gorilla (Gon) 19th–20th century The Kwele are among the Bantu-speaking peoples who live in western equatorial Africa’s rain forest. During the precolonial era, inhabitants of the region adhered to a highly diffuse notion of territoriality.
masks and sculpture Pende masks, made in a realistic style, are among the most dramatic works of all African art. Like the Yaka, small Pende masks fit over the head, helmet-style. The mask is later cast aside and replaced by a small ivory duplicate, worn as a charm against misfortune and as a symbol of manhood.
Teke-Tsaayi Mask. This disk-shaped facial mask has tribal iconographic and geometrical motifs that are symmetrically arranged and cover the entire face of the mask. This mask was created by the Tsaayi, a group of the Teke sub-tribe; the only group to make and have used wooden masks in their ceremonies.
It is a carved wooden helmet mask, which means it is worn over the whole head, and is used in the funerals of the Senufo people. Members of the Poro society, a “secret men’s society,” wear it during the funeral ceremonies of their deceased members to honor them as well as well as ward off evil spirits.
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Eric Herold estimates these images to have been created by nomadic herdsmen possibly between 3500 and 1500 B.C. (World 9). However, some scholars believe, as Segy has reported, that masks of animal heads were used by Paleolithic man at least 35,000 years ago (Black 44).
Almost all peoples have used masks to disguise themselves. Prehistoric rock paintings suggest that masking may have been part of magico-religious ceremonies. An image of an African mask first appeared in the central Sahara thousands of years ago.
Check the back of the mask for wear, including the holes for fastening the mask on the face. The wearer does a lot of moving in his dances, and contact between body and wood can leave sweat and oil stains. 2. Look for wear from forehead, cheeks, chins and noses.
The oldest type has keloids and an encrusted red patina; a later style does not have scarifications, while the most recent type characteristically has simplified features and is made of thicker wood. Sometimes the masks were covered with copper plate and had vegetal-fibre bells attached at the chin.