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Masquerades - Essay Example

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The masquerade in 20th century Africa is flourishing. But it is on the wane. Winds of modernization, education, industrialization and other socio-economic influences threaten to soon engulf prospering cultural ties such as the masquerade.
The masquerade is an important component of the African culture…
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Download file to see previous pages... The masquerades are dramatized to an extent with music and dances that it symbolizes power and infallibility. They are made in such macabre, grotesque yet illuminant manner that they at once evoke attention and awe1. The festivals and rituals surrounding masquerades have become regular part of the African culture. It is difficult to put a stop to them now.
1The attention and awe inspired by masquerades did not come because of their appearance. The masquerades were part of a system that ruled Africa for thousands of years. History reveals that the masquerades were silent witnesses to mayhem and murder.
If you're thinking about getting a masquerade, make sure you are up to date with all the rest of the outfit that must cover your body. You must also familiarize yourself with the music and dance steps and movements that accompany the masquerade. Added to these, you have to take the precaution of consulting your witchdoctor without which the masquerade will only remain a mute part of your grotesquely stylized garment.
The masquerades were part of large-scale mumbo-jumbo commanding obeisance of societies and nations. They were the cause of festivals and mass processions. They provided omens and cures in the hands of witchdoctors. They were ideal leverages in the hands of power-brokers. With such advantages, it was difficult to neutralize the influence of masquerades.
The maThe masquerades are made in all shapes and sizes.1They may resemble the hyena or the vulture. These have their specific significance. The hyena is associated with possession of ethereal knowledge. The vulture, a flying bird of prey, is believed to bring knowledge from the spiritual world (Lamp, Frederick; 2010).
It is not only the mask that prominently figures in the dancer's scheme. It is the entire outfit. The mask plays a vital role due to the importance associated with the countenance. The transformation in the dancer's behavior permeates every
iota of his being. The head, bearing most sense, takes the cake.

1Whatever the shape and size, the object of the masquerade was to dominate and demand respect. They exist in the form of art today. But they cannot undo the havoc they wreaked in the millions of lives that even dared to question them.
The Significance of the Masquerades' Longevity
The African continent is over 26,000 years' old culture. That art has existed for such a long period of time in human history is mind-boggling. It is another matter that it has continued in this fashion till date. The African contin ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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