Tribal Masks

Written by Ian Bracegirdle

Continued from page 1

Forgive me. I could continue to wax lyrical aboutrepparttar links in our current traditions seen as folk lore to those of our ancient ancestors. To me there is a tremnedous link which is bound up withrepparttar 116082 very nature ofrepparttar 116083 people we are and how we have developed. Our formative roots live in our societies now. That is why I find masks so powerfully evocative. Along with other forms of primitive and traditional art we can trace our own links to earlier times. Even todayrepparttar 116084 shaman / magician exists following ancient magik rules.

Even modern latex masks contain some ofrepparttar 116085 same magic, because they are linked back torepparttar 116086 same collective unconcious and traditions of masquerade, disguise andrepparttar 116087 spirit world. As a school teacher I have come across some quite vociferous reactions by parents to having Halloween in school. Some see its pagan links and reject it. The seam runs deep intorepparttar 116088 modern psyche.

Perhapsrepparttar 116089 most potent place to view this link is inrepparttar 116090 Mexican Day ofrepparttar 116091 Dead Celebrations. This festival combines a mix of Christian and Pagan practices. In particular Halloween has a juxtaposition betweenrepparttar 116092 dead and children. Here children are masked to scare awayrepparttar 116093 evil spirits and look afterrepparttar 116094 dead. By this means a link withrepparttar 116095 ancestors and children is perpetuated.

Another fascinating link betweenrepparttar 116096 masks of many cultures isrepparttar 116097 fool. The fool has many characteristics,repparttar 116098 most noticeable of which is paradox. The fool can be wise and foolish; handsome and ugly; playful and barbaric. He straddlesrepparttar 116099 line betweenrepparttar 116100 extremes ofrepparttar 116101 other masks switching from one role torepparttar 116102 other. Perhapsrepparttar 116103 fool simply representsrepparttar 116104 many dualities and paradoxes in life.

Alsorepparttar 116105 fool plays a full part inrepparttar 116106 staging ofrepparttar 116107 ritual. Noohlmahl inrepparttar 116108 Kwakwaka'wakw rituals is a grotesque creature covered in hair with snot pouring from his nose. He struts about entertainingrepparttar 116109 crowd, making jokes and anticipating reponses. Shouldrepparttar 116110 reponses become too familiar a violent response could be expected. Of courserepparttar 116111 responses torepparttar 116112 watchers comments could be of another more humourous roposte.

Surprise and paradox are essential torepparttar 116113 nature of all fools. Another of his jobs is to controlrepparttar 116114 children. He treadsrepparttar 116115 line between clowning for them and ensuring that they do not disrupt proceedings. As withrepparttar 116116 inappropriate comments from adults a violent response can be provoked shouldrepparttar 116117 children, literally, over steprepparttar 116118 line.

To return to my original point masks are a way intorepparttar 116119 very nature of our being. The mythology ofrepparttar 116120 Palaeolithic times is linked directly to tribal mask and western folk lore masks. For me this is whyrepparttar 116121 mask holds such power and magic. The mask allows us to physically touch and share our past in a way which few objects can do. Tribal Masks carry a universal signature that appeals to our nature.

Ian Bracegirdle 2004 You may use this article freely on condition that you include this copyright line and URL and that people who subsequently use this article followrepparttar 116122 same conditions. Thank you for accepting these conditions.

Teacher, Course Leader, Mask maker. Ian has studied and taught masks making and information for several years. He sees masks as a link back to our cultural origins.

Carnival and Madi Gras Masks

Written by Ian Bracegirdle

Continued from page 1

Not Carnival masks butrepparttar foundation of traditions spreading throughoutrepparttar 116081 World.

I have covered a great deal in a very short space. And maybe bitten off more than I can realistically substantiate. Every time I read aboutrepparttar 116082 background to masking, asque and Masquerade I find that these factors stand out. The links betweenrepparttar 116083 traditions in all parts ofrepparttar 116084 world hold common elements. If we accept our common ancestry then it makes sense.

Simply it comes down to this. When you find that there are similar elements behindrepparttar 116085 masking traditions in Africa and North America then we have to accept that there is a common influence in play. (It could of course berepparttar 116086 interpretation ofrepparttar 116087 academics who have influenced my studies with their own agendas.) These same structures of; reverie of ancestors, links withrepparttar 116088 dead,repparttar 116089 seasons of harvest, growth and planting, fertility, good and evil all crop up time after time. In many cases they are linked further by some kind of Fool taking part inrepparttar 116090 enactment.

What really fascinates me is that these links are embedded in our modern cultures through masquerade, carnival and other traditions such as Halloween and Day ofrepparttar 116091 Dead celebrations.

Amazingly these European traditions, superstitions, and links to ancient practices, have passed into other cultures in South, Central and North America plus of courserepparttar 116092 Caribbean. How has this happened?

The European conquerors took their traditions of festivals torepparttar 116093 Americas. These festivals embodied elements ofrepparttar 116094 earlier pre Christian times. The settlers changedrepparttar 116095 local festivals to embody Christian elements. So that when today we view masquerade and Carnival it is possible to recogniserepparttar 116096 Mayan or Inca festivals on which they were based. Christian celebrations introduced byrepparttar 116097 Conquistadors and other settlers are a mixture of elements. Whenrepparttar 116098 addition ofrepparttar 116099 African influence is added torepparttar 116100 Carnival. An interesting picture can be seen.

Carnival masks are, in my opinion, related back torepparttar 116101 earliest of times.

For me it is a circle. A circle of belief based upom prehistoric understanding that underpin our fundamental nature as people. Our prehistoric mystical belief system fromrepparttar 116102 past are now amalgamated on all continents. Probably some people who participate in these festivals understand their true nature. Our present position is to use this understanding of our common ancestry to build a forward looking route torepparttar 116103 future. All this from looking at masks.

Your thoughts and feelings upon this would be most welcome.

Ian Bracegirdle 2004 1 Elderberry Close East Morton BD20 5WA UK 01535 692207 You may use this article freely on condition that you include this copyright line and URL and that people who subsequently use this article followrepparttar 116104 same conditions. Thank you for accepting these conditions.

Teacher, Course Leader, mask enthuisiast and collector.

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