This piece displays how leaders were traditionally viewed. It is interesting to examine the roles that the traditional leader played compared to the present. In the past, these leaders viewed themselves as gods and distanced themselves from their followers. In todays society, for the most part good leaders are those that serve their people.
African masks should be seen as part of a ceremonial costume. They are used in religious and social events to represent the spirits of ancestors or to control the good and evil forces in the community.
They come to life, possessed by their spirit in the performance of the dance, and are enhanced by both the music and atmosphere of the occasion. Some combine human and animal features to unite man with his natural environment. This bond with nature is of great importance to the African and through the ages masks have always been used to express this relationship