In African traditional societies masks were used in propitiatory ceremonies, initiation and burial ceremonies, to protect houses from evil spirits etc.
Masks were regarded as mediators between the living world and supernatural world of spirits. During the ceremony, the wearer is transformed and goes into deeper communication with the spirits.
Masks can be worn vertically covering the face, as helmet covering the whole head, or as a crest resting upon the head. There are also tiny masks which are bound around the arms or the legs.