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  • Egyptian Masks

  • Comparison Between Egyptian and Chinese Masks

    Criteria Egyptian Masks Chinese Masks
    Images Egyptian masks Chinese masks
    Materials and manufacture - Egyptian masks were made from solid gold (thought to be the skin of the gods), studded with jewelry.
    - Masks were made by taking a plaster cast of the person's face, then casting gold over it. The mask was then painted with a likeness of the deceased person.
    - Red paint tones were used for men and yellow paint tones were used for women to represent the different skin tones
    - Strict designs - Eyebrows, Royal beards and other features were emphasized according to the strict rules governing the arts of the Egyptians
    - Masks had over exaggerated eye sizes, and faces were shown half smiling.
    - Varied materials - Chinese made their masks from colored wood, leather, cloth and paper
    - creative designs - They were painted in different creative color themes and designs
    - Some masks may represent animal or human characteristics like the lion or the dragon
    Usage
    - Worn by the dead, these masks were interred with the deceased and were not intended for public display
    - The purpose of death masks was to give the dead a face in the afterlife.
    - They were thought to allow the spirit to recognize the body and to allow them to be recognized and accepted by other people in the realm of the dead.
    - The use of masks for the dead in Egypt continued as long as mummification was practiced.
    - The only evidence for the use of ritual masks by the living are found in the Late Period, consisting of a unique, ceramic mask of the head of the jackal god, Anubis , which was apparently manufactured specifically as a head covering.
    - Worn by the living in public displays
    - Exorcising Dancers' Masks - These masks, used at religious ceremonies, were designed to dispel ghosts and evil spirits.
    - Masks for Festive Occasions - Such masks are worn by people during festivals, with the purpose of praying for long life and rich harvests
    - The New Year masks - worn by Chinese people to welcome the new year
    - Opera masks - painted and drawn on the faces of the actors and singers and are used to depict the traits and characteristics of the role each actor is playing.
    Popularity
    - Masks were initially made for only the Pharaohs, later they were manufactured for the nobility as well
    - The most famous example is the golden mask of Tutankhamen, made of gold with glass eyes and lapis lazuli eyebrows and eyelashes. it was placed on top of the Pharaoh's head and shoulders over the linen wrappings of his mummified body. The stripes on the headdress were made of blue glass, as was the inlaid chin of blue. The false beard of divinity attached to the chin, is that of Osiris, the great god of the underworld
    - China is a multi-ethnic country, and masks are popular among all ethnic groups and social classes