Mask – protection symbol. Robes, Hari (as the masks called in Russia) were performed the role of the Obera, the defender from evil spirits. They are the symbols of the transition from the world of corpusal (ordinary, earthly) into the world of sacral. Any important event in life (birth, death, marriage, young people ‘dedication) for ancient – transition to another quality. All this certainly was accompanied by rituals who follow so far and we. Mask, one or more, – an indispensable attribute of the ceremony.
Its role was performed and ordinary paint, makeup, tattoo or cloth, which walked faces. The veil of the modern bride is nothing but the "greatness" of a ritual mask, a symbol of transition from virginity to femininity. Pushkin’s posthumous masks, Lenin, Shakespeare or Vysotsky – and at all passed the middle of the centuries almost unchanged the tradition of perpetuating the most outstanding dead.
When someone puts on a mask – he does not need to be more. He is the one who symbolizes the mask: the spirit of the deceased ancestor, the natural element and T. D. What is allowed to be mounted is not allowed by the rest. For example, dressed as women men can only for Christmas, and only on Christmas Eve can be spacked by hotels near the neighbors.
The mask had the right to dismantle from any actions he made with a closed face. From here, by the way, the tradition to close the heads of the executioners and judges in medieval Europe (and not only for reasons about revenge of the relatives of the executed).
Today mask lost sacralism, becoming an attribute of a holiday and a propulsion for actors and circus. But not everywhere.
For many nations of the world, the mask is still a matter of cult. Upon the abundance of ritual "Licin", they are all divided into three types.
Feline masks – symbolize dead relatives, being conductors to the world of spirits. So, in Liberia, the funeral mask of the authoritative "great-grandfather" is accepted with me – in order to ask the Wise Council. These masks – replacement of the skulls of the great-grandfathers themselves, who in no such long-standing times were doused and put on the altar or kept in a special hut.
Magic masks – the most numerous. They embody evil or good spirits: nature, elements or animals. Some scare demons, others – on the contrary.
Another type of masks – entertainment. They are used everywhere: in America, Europe, Africa (so, representatives of the Nigerian people of Iibio put on masks during the holidays and dances, which are playing a kind of African clowns, crumbs and jesters) and t. D.