The Beauty of African Masks

African masks comprise some of the greatest works of art in the world. Highly expressive and unique, African masks denote a rich history filled with meaningful symbols and traditions. Fashioned of various elements, including bronze, copper, wood, straw, feathers, hair and cloth, each African mask has great importance. With expressions that range from benign to terrifying, each African mask usually possesses tribal significance.


The masks with their origin in Africa are some of the most unique art found in the world. This is so much so, in fact, that the masks of Africa heavily influenced many European artists. African masks are very special and according to tradition, could not be merely worn by just anyone.

In fact, it was typically males and people of extremely exalted status in the culture that were permitted to wear them. Since many years past, the art of making masks was kept within a family line and carefully taught.

Rich History

It is customary for African masks to be used during tribal rituals. They have always been highly associated with spirits, animals, nature and deceased ancestors. Sometimes, the masks were donned in order to give the person wearing it a special quality. Some of these special qualities include courage, wisdom and strength.

Powerful Meaning

African masks were never created with just an artistic purpose in mind. In fact, African masks have strong spiritual significance, as they often represent the souls of ancestral kin. Naturally, African masks are heavily relied upon for use in ceremonial rituals such as those of weddings, thanksgiving and funerals. The masks have enormous social significance.

Intricate Symbolism

Most African masks symbolize something in particular. Often, it is a deity or a deceased person. When a citizen of high rank puts on a mask, they are then considered to be no longer self, rather they have become the spirit that the mask represents. This is a most powerful point for ceremonies, rituals and African storytelling and history.

The above are some of the primary characteristics of the great art inherent in African masks. The artistry of African masks is impressive. The rich history found in the masks causes an individual to view each mask with respect. The fact that each mask contains spiritual and social meaning makes African masks a very communicative form of art.

At The Printable Mask Shop, we have created a wide assortment of unique African masks of similiar resemblance to those used in African culture without imposing any disrepect to meanings and association of their real use in tribal ceremonies and rituals.

We have spent significant time giving all of our African masks meaningful African names and each mask tells a unique story.

Visit here for our full selection of African Masks for browse below.

Achieng African Mask
Achieng African Mask
Achieng was born when the sun shines hence the sun scorned bright red color. Awesome detail and shading make this mask come to life when worn.
Price: $3.99
Kamau African Mask
Kamau African Mask
This quiet warrior from Kenya is in a beautiful dark Walnut color with excellent shading and facial detail. This African mask may be quiet, but is also fearless and full of courage!
Price: $3.99
Runihura African Mask
Runihura African Mask
Runihura, the African name meaning "One Who Smashes to Bits" makes this a strong and quite intimidating mask. Prints off beautifully and works well with men and women.
Price: $3.99
Realistic Tiger Mask
Excellent detail and when you slice along the sides of the face and nose, it comes alive in a 3-dimensional way.
Price: $3.99
African Mask Package
This package includes ALL of our traditional and tribal African masks. Total value is $70 if purchased separately.
Price: $17.50
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