Native American Masks

Published on January 6, 2012 by Amy

Love this article and want to save it to read again later? Add it to your favourites! To find all your favourite posts, check out My Favourites on the menu bar.

Native American Masks
Native American Masks

Native American masks had many different purposes including its medicinal and spiritual uses and sometimes they were just used for entertainment purposes. Many Native American tribes believed that when certain animal masks were worn during specific tribal rituals that the person who wore the mask would take on certain characteristics of the animal depicted, they believed that the spirit of the animal would enter that person while they were in the mask.

dna testing, dna ancestry testing, ancestry, genealogy, indian genealogy records, paternity testing, turquoise jewelry, native american jewelry

These Native American masks, as with most things associated with Native American culture, varied between the hundreds of tribes that once occupied many regions of the Americas and Canada. Many of the masks made by the American Indians represented things like strength and wisdom. At first these native masks were made by using traditional tools made from rock and bone that they used for shaping, gouging and cutting. After the Natives made contact with European voyagers they obtained new tools and they were able to make their masks much easier and with much better precision.

Some Native American masks were made purely for decoration while many others had much deeper meaning in tribal rituals. Some masks were crafted as portrait masks, and they were intended to portray an important figure in Native American culture. Some of these portrait masks were created with a labret, which is a piercing in the lower lip. Traditionally the larger, more beautiful labrets showed a higher social status. Some of these Native American masks were created for the sole purpose of American Indian secret society rituals. These secret societies were sometimes shaman societies, war societies, or societies for inducting young people into the tribe with special conjurations. These secret societies were only for members of the society and no one else was allowed to attend these sacred rituals.

Native American Shamans would practice these special rituals and would wear the Native American masks along with the different animal masks to act different stories, such as stories of creation or war. Some other uses for these masks were for use in what the Native Americans called potlatch ceremonies. Potlatch ceremonies were festivals where the chief of one tribe would give a gift to another tribe’s chief. The tribal chiefs also wanted to give great gifts to show off the tribes’ wealth to the other chief. During these ceremonies both tribes would feast and then a ceremonial dance would take place where dancers would wear these beautiful ceremonial masks and act out stories.

Source: native-net

NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged
Based on the collective work of NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com, © 2014 Native American Encyclopedia.
Cite This Source | Link To Native American Masks
Add these citations to your bibliography. Select the text below and then copy and paste it into your document.

American Psychological Association (APA):

Native American Masks NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged. Retrieved November 21, 2014, from NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com website: http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/native-american-masks/

Chicago Manual Style (CMS):

Native American Masks NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com. NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/native-american-masks/ (accessed: November 21, 2014).

Modern Language Association (MLA):

"Native American Masks" NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia 21 Nov. 2014. <NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/native-american-masks/>.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE):

NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com, "Native American Masks" in NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged. Source location: Native American Encyclopedia http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/native-american-masks/. Available: http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com. Accessed: November 21, 2014.

BibTeX Bibliography Style (BibTeX)

@ article {NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com2014,
    title = {NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged},
    month = Nov,
    day = 21,
    year = 2014,
    url = {http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/native-american-masks/},
}
You might also like:

Tags:  ,

Facebook Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.