ARTHUR'S

MASK

 CLIPART

This free masks illustrations, mask bitmap graphics, masks of africa clipart, Halloween masks,  theatre masks, masks of Polynesia images, masks of the world clipart, animal masks, is of large format and is suitable for presentations and projects and school usage for both students and educators etc. The large images are too big for use on the internet. However you may use the thumbnail clip art pictures for web pages. Selections of both colour and black and white clip art are available, the latter are suitable for coloring books. Please do not use them in any other collections of clipart. To download a thumbnail left click on the picture and then "Save As" to a directory of your choice. To download the full size image, first right click on the thumbnail and then left click on the full size image and "Save As" to a directory of your choice.

Throughout the world masks are used for their expressive power as a feature of masked performance - both ritually and in various theatre traditions. The ritual and theatrical definitions of mask usage frequently overlap and merge but still provide a useful basis for categorisation. The image of juxtaposed Comedy and Tragedy masks are widely used to represent the Performing Arts, and specifically Drama.

In ancient Rome the word persona meant 'a mask'; it also referred to an individual who had full Roman citizenship. A citizen could demonstrate his or her lineage through imagines, death masks of the ancestors. These were wax casts kept in a lararium, the family shrine. Rites of passage, such as initiation of young members of the family, or funerals, were carried out at the shrine under the watch of the ancestral masks. At funerals professional actors would wear these masks to perform deeds of the lives of the ancestors, thus linking the role of mask as a ritual object and in theatre.

Masks are a familiar and vivid element in many folk and traditional pageants, ceremonies, rituals and festivals, and are often of an ancient origin. The mask is normally a part of a costume that adorns the whole body and embodies a tradition important to the religious and/or social life of the community as whole or a particular group within the community. Masks are used almost universally and maintain their power and mystery both for their wearers and their audience.The continued popularity of wearing masks at carnival, and for children at parties and for festivals such as Halloween are good examples. Nowadays these are usually mass-produced plastic masks, often associated with popular films, TV programmes or cartoon characters - they are, however, reminders of the enduring power of pretence and play and the power and appeal of masks.

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Last updated March 2014