ByBen Turner, writer at
Staff Writer at MP. This is a no-muggle space.
Ben Turner

The creation of masks is an identifiable trend throughout history and all corners of human civilization. Many masks from around the world have incredible designs, and some are even quite harrowing.

Here's a list of 10 masks that would put any horror movie to shame.

1. Alaskan Burial Mask

This is a Native American Burial Mask. If the person who had died was a shaman, then the eyes would additionally be blocked to stop evil spirits from entering the deceased body.

2. Roitschaeggaetae Mask from the Loetsch Valley (Shrovetide mask)

This mask was worn by young men who would also cover themselves in soot, blood and manure.

3. Dirt Eater Mask

Between the 16th and 19th century, slave owners would give their slaves these mouth blocking masks to stop them from eating dirt (geophagia) which was a practice retained from West Africa.

4. Splatter Mask

This mask was worn by British tank operators in WW1. Tanks at this point were faulty and cumbersome and would often spit rivets and lead chips in the faces of the tank drivers. The scary mask also helped intimidate German soldiers.

5. Iroquois False Face Society Mask

This mask was considered to be real (a 'wooden body') and would have to be preserved by applying oils and greases as well as feeding it.

6. Asaro Mudmen Mask

The Asaro Mudmen masks are an integral part of their culture. They are made out of heated pebbles and water from the waterfall.

7. Asaro Mudmen Mask (part 2)

Here's a continuation of the Asaro Mudmen masks to show the sheer variation and uniqueness of the extravagant masks.

8. 18th Century Japanese 'Noh' Theater Mask

Noh theater is Japan's oldest type of theater that conveys Buddhist themes through music and dance. This is the kind of mask that actors would have worn in this tradition.

9. Neolithic Mask

This mask is estimated to be up to 9000 years old, giving a minimal insight into Stone Age civilization.

10. Middle Eastern Funerary Mask, Chalcolithic Period (5000 - 3500 BC)

This very ancient mask would have been used in ceremonies for the dead.


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