"the African death masks"

A death mask is a mask made of the features of a dead person’s face. Made commonly in Europe until the nineteenth century, they remain today an important part of culture in many African and Asian lands. The masks are a reminder of the dead, but are also used to facilitate communication between the living and dead and play a major role in funerary rites and some spiritual rituals. Not always recognisably a human face, the masks are made from the deceased’s features but may then be adapted to look more like an animal or other ‘spirit’.