Masks are as extraordinarily
varied in appearance as they are in function or fundamental meaning.
Many masks are primarily associated with ceremonies that have religious
and social significance or are concerned with funerary customs, fertility
rites, or curing sickness. Other masks are used on festive occasions
or to portray characters in a dramatic performance and in re-enactments
of mythological events.
African masks are typically carved from wood. Before the tree is
cut down, the carver purifies himself and performs a prayer, consulting
the divine forces and or the spirits of his ancestors for spiritual
guidance. The divine force will be transferred to the mask when
the carving procedure begins. The carver chops down the tree and
leaves it for a day or two, so that the spirit of the tree can find
a "new home", thereafter he starts the carving process.
The African masks offered on our website come from various countries
and tribes on the African continent. Some of the masks were used
during rituals, ceremonies and or initiations. Each mask in our
collection has been hand selected to assure the finest quality.
BATIK MASKS & BUDDHA MASKS FROM BALI
The Indonesian craft organization Apikri was established in 1990
to improve the socio-economic conditions of poor families in the
rural and urban areas of central Java through the development of
handicraft skills and associations. They provide valuable development
services, including product design, local and export marketing,
advance payment on orders, and encouraging cooperation among various
crafts groups. Their foundation, Hasta Kirti, enables craftspeople
to save money collectively and receive micro credit loans to assist
in production, skills development or emergency need situations.
An exciting art form perfected in central Java is Batik, the art
of wax-resist dyeing, traditionally applied to cotton fabric. The
Picuk family has been working with Apikri for years and has developed
the art of applying the Batik waxing technique to wood to create
exquisitely carved Batiked wooden masks (Topeng). Tiny dots of wax
are hand-applied to the wood masks, which are then dyed, leaving
a unique design under the waxy coating. The wax is removed and the
process repeated until the mask is transformed into an elaborate
yet subtle design of color and pattern.
We have chosen Batik style masks as well as special Buddha masks
to offer our customers. These masks were created by very talented
artists who take great pride in their work. We are sure you will
share our delight in the discovery of their artwork.