Is masquerade still alive in Africa?

Yes. Though painted with store-bought colors, some of the masks used today do not look much different than those from a 100 years ago. Others, like the five I’m showing today, are different. African folk art is changing just like so many other things. After all, the continent has experienced colonization, Christianity, Islam and urbanization.

These are being used now in there respective cultures. They are not meant to be sold as collectibles for white people. We call them modern traditional art and they are hard to find on the internet or anywhere else. Most of what we see for sale today are poorly carved masks that try to look like masks from the past. I don’t find these made-to-look-old tourist masks  of much interest.

All five masks you see in the post have been used in culture. First is a Baga mask from the coast Guinia, second is a festima mask from Burkina Faso, third is another festima, a carnival mask from Guinea Bissau, and an Ode-Lay from Sierra Leone.

Do you like these modern  masks?






























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