Last week I talked about my mask project, and the process I went through to create said mask from beeswax. I mentioned that I made four other masks from different cultural backgrounds, and each mask aligned with my identity depending on the meaning of each mask. Today we are going to be talking about the finished masks.
Starting with the mask we saw last week it was inspired by Native American art. The wolf symbolizes independence, and loyalty while the feathers adorning the mask represent over coming challenges or winning battles. I related to the wolf since we have similar ideals, and I have over came difficulties in my life which pushed me to use feathers.
Next up is the African-inspired mask. This mask was the first rendered idea I made and it set the pace for the rest of them. I choose to reference African masks because they were used to communicate with the spirits. I am a very spiritual person, and I have a lot of faith so it made sense to take inspiration from this culture.
The next mask was modeled after the Japanese Kitsune masks. In Japanese theater, they would use masks to narrate stories and entertain people. The masks are well crafted, and the art of them made me relate them to my passion for the arts. The kitsune is a type of demon in Japanese mythology and is known for being intelligent, and having magical powers. I like to think I’m smart, and drawing can be considered a magic power to some people so that’s why I choose the Kitsune mask.
Then there is the Tiki mask from Polynesian culture. This mask was the second one I thought of and really wanted to make one because of the video game crash bandicoot since there is a tiki mask (Aku Aku) in that game series. The tiki mask in Polynesian culture has different meanings one of which is fertility. I truly want to be a mom one day, and it was nice to know that culture would place such significance on such a concept they would dedicate a tiki mask to it.
Lastly the Egyptian-inspired mask. This mask is the centerpiece of the five because it is the most eye-catching being entirely covered in gold dust, and in Egyptian culture, the mask was used to help the dead safely travel to the afterlife. The afterlife in Egyptian customs was seen as the next stage in life, and a rebirth in a sense. This mask means a lot to me because the last three years of college have shaped me into a newer better person. I have had so much to learn, and experience regardless if it was good or bad because I still remain golden (haha gold pun).
Together the masks are titled “Quinctus Facies” which is Latin for “Five Faces”. I chose this title for two reasons, one being I literally have five masks in the series, and I wanted to name them something that related to the masks’ time. It was really fun creating all these masks, and the finished product was extremely satisfying.