19th Century Ghanaian Tribal Head Dress Mask
Ghanaian tribal masks are rich in symbolism and meaning. However, the meaning of a mask can vary depending on the tribe that created it and its ceremonial use. This 19th century Ghanaian tribal head dress mask depicting 4 faces is a fascinating piece of art that has a lot of cultural significance. It is likely that the head represents a deity or a powerful ancestor, as many African tribes believe in the power of their ancestors and worship them. The four faces could represent different aspects of the deity or ancestor, such as different emotions, personalities, or even different stages of life. It is also possible that the head was used as a symbol of power and authority, as many tribal leaders would use art to display their wealth and status.
Whatever the meaning behind this wonderful craftsmanship it is clear that the head dress is a beautiful and intricate piece of art that reflects the rich cultural heritage of Ghana and the African continent as a whole.
Until its independence, Ghana was known as the Gold Coast. It was renamed Ghana, meaning “Warrior King,” to reflect the ancient Ghana Empire that flourished in West Africa during the 10th Century. The Ghanaian people and culture really emphasises the importance of family, respect for their elders and honour for traditional rulers.
The Ghanaian culture is a collective one where the sense of community, sharing of everything, no matter how small the amount, including food and other resources is highly valued. Each person is expected to place high value on correct social conduct by being “polite and proper”, respectful and dignified, and being observant in virtually every aspect of life. Each and every person is required to live in harmony and adhere to the core beliefs and values of the community to maintain and protect this sense of “face”. The actions of an individual are not seen in isolation and it is key that embarrassment is not caused to others or that shame through their behaviour does not occur as the entire family and extended community share any loss of honour.
Ghana is often seen as a Land of Festivals, Music and Traditional dances; it is customary for most communities, clans and tribes to have annual celebrations. Ethnic, or traditional, music is usually played during festivals and funerals. Highlife music blends traditional and imported music and plays an important part in these celebrations.