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Masks

Africa

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.

 

Orient

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

 

Oceania

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.

 

Mexico

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

 

Guatemala

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

 

Caribbean

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.

 

Europe

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.

 

Protection

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

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