Image Gallery: Masks from other cultures

Across cultures and history, the face has been bestowed with incredible importance and power. As the point of contact and medium of communication with others, faces and their artistic representations, whether human, animal or spirit, have been used to express cultural and spiritual beliefs, create identities and transform personalities.

Masks in particular have the potential to generate new levels of identity. In some cultures, spirits and ancestral beings can inhabit a mask, which then takes on the spirit’s essence. In others, the wearer themselves is transformed as the mask endows them with new powers.