Masks of the World




Most masks come from the many countries of West Africa, fewer from East Africa.


India & Himalayas

Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, India and Sri Lanka all have great masking traditions.


Bali & Java

The famous dance dramas of Central Indonesia make these two islands a special category for masks.


East Asia

Japan, Korea, China and SE Asia are grouped together under this old-fashioned term.



Includes some Indonesian and all of the Melanesian people in the South Pacific.


Native American

The Eskimo and Indian cultures originally living in what is now the USA and Canada.



Here many different cultures have masked festivals that celebrate religion and recreation since pre-Hispanic times.



Masked dances are such an important tradition here that this small country must be treated separately.



All of the islands and some coastal areas of South and Central America reflect African influence in their masquerade.


South America

Includes both the Amazon basin cultures and those who populate the Andes from Colombia to Chile.



Masks are part of folk traditions in most European countries.


Halloween, Drama & Art

Since the 19th century we Americans have used masks for many different reasons.



Protective facial devices sometimes disguise the wearer in ways similar to traditional masks.


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