African Masks and Headdresses at the Bayly Art
Have you ever worn a mask?
What was the mask of and on
occassion did you wear it?
Wearing a mask can protect you or make
others laugh or become
scared. In anycase, putting on a mask or a headdress changes you into
something or somebody else. Masks
are also used in cultures besides our own.
African peoples wear masks and headdresses, often with elaborate
costumes for special celebrations, to teach,
respect for royalty, seek protection by honoring women
ancestors, and celebrate a good
By examining the choices the artist made in
creating the mask and exploring how the mask is used in
celebration, we will begin to draw connections between African
art and art in our lives.
At this site you will have the opportunity to explore masks at the Bayly
Art Museum of the University of Virginia.
- A CLOSER LOOK will give you
chance to closely examine the colors, shapes, and
patterns of the masks.
- IN CONTEXT provides insights into how a mask
is actually worn and used in celebration and ceremony.
- YOUR TURN puts your creativity to work with
activities based on the different African masks on view.
Choose a place to start!
This site is
based on the African art collection of the Bayly Art Museum of the
University of Virginia.
This page was developed by Barbara Palley under the direction of
University of Virginia Professor Benjamin
Ray in his
African Art and the Web Museum
Please e-mail Barbara with any comments or suggestions that you
may have at firstname.lastname@example.org
Masks and headdresses which...