African Crafts Market

African arts, crafts, game skins, horns & skulls online store

African tribal masks information

African Chockwe maskAfrican tribal mask - Kwele African tribal mask - Teke African masks - LeatherAfrican masks - Goli African mask - Punu African mask - Songye African masks - Shona



Chokwe mask ~ Songye mask ~ Punu mask ~ Goli mask ~ Shona mask ~ Teke mask ~ Fang mask ~ Tikar mask ~ Bauole mask ~ Guro mask ~ Maasai mask ~ Swazi mask ~Kwele mask

African Tikar maskMany African societies see African masks as mediators between the living world and the supernatural world of the dead, ancestors and other entities. Each African mask is made according to a traditional style, and a trained performer wears each African mask for a certain traditional ceremony.African masksAlthough African masking ceremonies are not as commonplace in Africa as they once were, African masks are still looked at as an important part of African culture and history and are still used in important rituals and celebrations.

Elaborate and complex beliefs surround African masks and their use in rituals. And the wood used for certain African masks is so powerful that it may only be touched by a chosen few- those who wear the African mask and the elders of the culture. Virtually everything associated with African mask making has a corresponding ritual. One culture may forbid the use of a particular tree because its wood is thought to possess harmful qualities and could become part of anything made from it, sapping the power from the image carved. African masksOther types of wood on the other hand are highly prized because they are thought o have their own inherent power.

A sculpture of a African mask is not merely carving an object he is perpetuating the beliefs of his people. During the course of his work the unfinished piece must be kept out of sight or some of its power can be taken.African Tikar wood mask

During the mask ceremony the dancer goes into deep trance, and during this state of mind he "communicate" with his ancestors. A wise man or translator sometimes accompanies the wearer of the mask during the ritual. The dancer brings forth messages of wisdom from his ancestors. Often the messages are grunted utterances and the translator will accurately decipher the meaning of the message. Rituals and ceremonies are always accompanied with song, dance and music, played with traditional African musical instruments.

It is believed that the earliest masks were used in Africa before Paleolithic era. They represent spirits of animals or ancestors, mythological heroes, moral values or a form of honoring of a person in a symbolic way. They are made from wood, pottery, textiles, copper and bronze.

Once the African mask is complete the African mask is usually treated with vegetable oil.



Our masks are handcrafted to the highest of quality from respected African carvers from all over Africa.

To order your masks from us please enter our African masks main page at

Or click one of the mask styles below

Chokwe mask ~ Songye mask ~ Punu mask ~ Goli mask ~ Shona mask ~ Teke mask ~ Fang mask ~ Tikar mask ~ Bauole mask ~ Guro mask ~ Maasai mask ~ Swazi mask ~ Kwele mask

African Mask Key ringMasai mask KenyaGiraffe maskFang maskAfrican Fang masksAfrican masks - Maasai African mask - Baule African mask - Tikar

AFRICAN CRAFTS MARKET is a company situated in South Africa that has many Zulu pieces of art available for sale, from the lovely Zulu bead work and grass weave baskets through the traditional Zulu shields. To view the items that may be of interests to you go to our gallery pages on our website at

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Featured Item

Springbok horn ostrich egg holder
Springbok horn ostrich egg holder

warthog tusk keyrings
warthog tusk keyrings

Carved Blue wildebeest horn
Carved Blue wildebeest horn


We work with crafters throughout Africa to find a vast range of handcrafted items and then send them worldwide.

All items are produced in Africa by local Africans

We ship worldwide