Ancient African masks are used in rituals and ceremonies to represent ancestors, spirits of animals, mythological heroes, or to honor someone in a symbolic way. There are many tribes across Africa and the Caribbean islands who use masks in these ways. Many of these mask we see now are in foreign museums. So many of ancient African masks have been taken from Africa that excavations in some countries have been banned.
Ancient artifacts like these should be preserved and shown in their own countries and used to educate the very people it comes from, but without these things we are left unknowing of our history and traditions. In modern times we as African Americans have created our own sub culture due to this disconnect but some of the key elements live within us. In this series I investigate African and African American culture through the art of mask making to honor my people and the culture we've created.