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Brad and Sherry Steiger

Please Visit his Official Web Site ~ edwardshanahan.com

Conscious Channeler Edward Shanahan



Magic Of The Haunted Mask

Death Mask of Tutankhamun

Death Mask of Tutankhamun. The death mask of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun is made of gold inlaid with colored glass and semiprecious stone. The mask comes from the innermost mummy case in the pharaoh’s tomb, and stands 54 cm (21 in) high. The emblems on the forehead (vulture and cobra) and on the shoulders (falcon heads) were symbols of the Two Lands of Upper and Lower Egypt and of divine authority. The vulture Nekhbet and the cobra Wadjet protected the pharaoh.

The Egyptian vulture. The Egyptian vulture is a tool-using bird. Egyptian vultures are specialists in egg-eating. They are among the only known birds in the world to use stones as tools. They will repeatedly strike at an abandoned ostrich egg with stones, then use their beak to enlarge the hole and penetrate membrane. Then it feasts on the oozing interior of the egg. In ancient Egypt the vulture is considered to be nearer to God who is believed to reside above the sky.

The Egyptian cobra. The ancient Egyptians worshipped the cobra and used it as a symbol on the crown of the pharaohs. It is used as a protective symbol, the Egyptians believed that the cobra would spit fire at any approaching enemies. It is also called asp.

The funeral mask of Tutankhamun was placed over the face of the young pharaoh. The pharaoh wears the royal head cloth called the "nemes". It is patterned with stripes of blue glass and gold. The "nemes" is only worn by pharaohs


Masks have been used since antiquity for both ceremonial and practical purposes. From magic rituals to theatrical disguises, and assumption of a assumed role playing identity.

The word mask came via French masque and either Italian maschera or Spanish máscara. Possible ancestors are Latin (not classical) mascus, masca = "ghost", and Arabic maskharah = "jester", "man in masquerade". A mask is a covering for all or part of the face, worn to conceal one's identity. Often now a days a grotesque or humorous false face worn at a carnival, masquerade, Mardi gras etc.: Halloween masks. Maskara, an extended form of *mask-, prob. with orig. sense “black” (blackening the face being a simple form of disguise); another development of the same base is early ML masca witch, ghost.

Masking was a form of aristocratic entertainment in England in the 16th and 17th centuries, originally consisting of pantomime and dancing but later including dialogue and song, presented in elaborate productions given by amateur and professional actors.

Mask have been by seems means known to possess people and change their personality as they assume the role that the anonymity affords them. Think about the persona of Zorro, or the many superhero's that use them in the comics to hide their identities.

Masking refers to a broad spectrum of ceremonies and beliefs that have traditionally been practiced in Africa and other parts of the world. To wear a mask and its associated vestment was to conceal one's own identity in the guise of another. Whether this other was a spirit, ancestor, or another person-either revered or feared-the ceremony in which the masked performer participated marked a time of transition, when otherworldly powers were invoked to aid in human affairs. Masks played especially important roles in initiation and funerary rites, as markers of transition when the connections between this world and another were particularly strong. At such times humans sought to reaffirm the order of their society by reference to their beliefs and values exemplified by the masks. On this basis the mask carried the authority demanded by the occasion.

Death Mask By Ricardo Pustanio

In traditional Africa, in general, only men wore masks, although the mask itself could be male or female. If permitted to see the masks at all, even in public appearances, women were required to keep at a safe distance, since masks were considered dangerous to them. And only men-specialist carvers, blacksmiths, farmers, or ritual specialists-could make masks.

Masks were worn in three different ways: as face masks, vertically covering the face; as helmets, encasing the entire head; and as crests, resting upon the head, which was commonly covered by a pliable, transparent material as part of the disguise.

Because they are worn by people and intimately linked to the human body, African masks are mobile in their indigenous settings. They are animated by movement and music. Masquerades also impart a dimension of entertainment to the serious purposes for which they are used.

Since the middle of this century, as the peoples of Africa have modified their tribal identities in order to organize themselves into modern, independent nations, masking ceremonies have generally become less integral to Africans' way of life. But some exceptions-notably funerary masquerades-continue today.


In ritual, social and religious functions, where participants wear them to represent spiritual or legendary figures. In some cultures it is also believed that the wearing of a mask will allow the wearer to take on the attributes of that mask's representation; i.e., a leopard-mask will induce the wearer to become leopard-like.

Mask fetishism is a desire to see a subject wearing a mask or taking off a mask. The mask may be a Halloween mask, a surgical mask, ninja mask, a latex mask, or any other kind of mask. A similar fetish for women wearing Muslim or harem veils is veil fetishism.

They're still used today in theaters (a good example is the Japanese theater Noh) and, of course, they're widely represented in popular events such as carnivals, Halloween and New Orleans Mardi Gras.

A Zulu mask is said to keep out evil spirits from the house and is often found hung at the entrance of the Zulu tribesmen houses



Laissez le bon temps roulette (traditional Cajun/Mardi Gras saying meaning "Let the Good Times Roll). French Quarter Feather Mask are all the rage in New Orleans. Many buy them to where other have them framed and hang them on the wall. From hand held to worn on the face these items are sold year round. As common as real voodoo dolls in the Crescent City. Mardi Gras, which means "fat Tuesday" in French, is celebrated in many francophone regions.

Mardi Gras began long before Europeans set foot in the New World. In mid February the ancient Romans celebrated the Lupercalia, a circus like festival not entirely unlike the Mardi Gras we are familiar with today. When Rome embraced Christianity, the early Church fathers decided it was better to incorporate certain aspects of pagan rituals into the new faith rather than attempt to abolish them altogether. Carnival became a period of abandon and merriment that preceded the penance of Lent, thus giving a Christian interpretation to the ancient custom.

Mardi Gras came to America in 1699 with the French explorer Iberville. Mardi Gras had been celebrated in Paris since the Middle Ages, where it was a major holiday. Iberville sailed into the Gulf of Mexico, from where he launched an expedition up the Mississippi River. On March 3 of 1699, Iberville had set up a camp on the west bank of the river about 60 miles south of where New Orleans is today. This was the day Mardi Gras was being celebrated in France. In honor of this important day, Iberville named the site Point du Mardi Gras.

During the late 1700's, pre-Lenten masked balls and festivals were common in New Orleans while it was under French rule. However when New Orleans came under Spanish rule the custom was banned. In 1803 New Orleans came under the U.S. flag. The prohibition against masked festivals continued until 1823 when the Creole populace convinced the governor to permit masked balls. In 1827 street masking was again legalized.

During the early 1800's public celebrations of Mardi Gras centered around maskers on foot, in carriages and on horseback. The first documented parade occurred in 1837. Unfortunately, Mardi Gras gained a negative reputation because of violent behavior attributed to maskers during the 1840's and 50's. The situation became so bad that the press began calling for an end to the celebration.

In 1857 six New Orleaneans saved Mardi Gras by forming the Comus organization. These six men were former members of the Cowbellians, an organization which had put on New Year's Eve parades in Mobile since 1831. The Comus organization added beauty to Mardi Gras and demonstrated that it could be a safe and festive event. Comus was the first organization to use the term krewe to describe itself. Comus also started the customs of having a secret Carnival society, having a parade with a unifying theme with floats, and of having a ball after the parade. Comus was also the first organization to name itself after a mythological character. The celebration of Mardi Gras was interrupted by the Civil War, but in 1866 Comus returned.

In 1870 the Twelfth Night Revelers made their appearance. In 1871 they began the custom of presenting a young woman with a golden bean hidden in a cake. This young woman was the first queen of Mardi Gras. This was also the origin of the king cake tradition.

In 1872 Grand Duke Alexis Romanoff of Russia visited New Orleans. This year the krewe of Rex made their debut and began the tradition of the "King of Carnival." Rex also introduced purple, gold and green as the official colors of Mardi Gras. Rex was the first krewe to hold an organized daytime parade and introduced "If Ever I Cease To Love" as the Mardi Gras anthem. One of the high points of Rex is the arrival of the Rex King on a riverboat. 1872 also saw the debut of the Knights of Momus on New Year's Eve.

Ten years later in 1882, the Krewe of Proteus made its debut with a parade themed after Egyptian mythology. In 1890 the first marching club, The Jefferson City Buzzards, was organized. In 1894, the Original Illinois Club was formed as the first black Mardi Gras organization. In 1896 Les Mysterieuses appeared as the first female organization.

Mardi Gras in the Twentieth Century
In 1809 Zulu appeared as a parody of Rex. The Zulu King held a banana stalk scepter and wore a lard can crown. He arrived on on oyster lugger instead of a steamboat. Zulu was destined to become one of the most popular and beloved of all krewes.

Mardi Gras was canceled during the dark years of 1918 and 1919 when the United States was involved in the bloody fighting of the First World War. The celebration struggled through the 1920's and early 30's, which saw Prohibition and The Great Depression.

The krewe of Alla brought carnival to the West Bank in 1934.

With the rise of mass produced automobiles, random truck riders had become part of the Mardi Gras scene. In 1835 they organized themselves into the Elkes Krewe of Orleanians. The Krewe of Hermes appeared in 1937 and the Knights of Babylon in 1939.

Mardi Gras prospered during the 1940's, although it was canceled during the war years. In 1949 Louis Armstrong was King of the Zulu parade and was pictured on the cover of time magazine.

In 1950 the Duke and Duchess of Windsor visited New Orleans during Mardi Gras. They honored the New Orleans Mardi Gras tradition by bowing to kings of Rex and Comus at the Comus ball. The Korean War put a damper on festivities in 1951, but several krewes joined forces to parade as the Krewe of Patria on Mardi Gras day. The Fifties also saw the replacement of mule drawn floats with ones drawn by tractors and the formation of several new krewes including Zeus. Zeus was the first krewe to parade in Metairie.

In 1961 Pete Fountain founded the Half-Fast Walking Club, an immediate hit with the crowds. Zulu came under pressure from portions of the black community who thought the krewe presented an undignified image. The king resigned and the parade was almost cancelled, but Zulu survived and was a main attraction by 1969. The Sixties ended with the debut of Bacchus. Bacchus aimed to bring national attention to Mardi Gras with gigantic floats and a Hollywood celebrity (Danny Kaye) riding as its king. Bacchus replaced the traditional ball with a supper to which tickets could be purchased by visitors and locals.

The Seventies saw the debut of 18 new krewes and the demise of 18 others. More than a dozen krewes followed the lead of Bacchus by placing celebrities in their parades. In 1974 Argus became the first Metairie parade on Fat Tuesday. This year also saw Endymion's rise to super krewe status. The Seventies brought a ban on parading in the French Quarter, ending a 117 year tradition. Mardi Gras made national headlines at the close of the decade with a police strike which cancelled 13 parades in Orleans Parish.

In the 80's Mardi Gras gained 27 new parades and lost 19. St. Bernard Parish suffered a net loss of parades while Jefferson and St. Tammany Parish experienced continued growth. By the end of the decade Jefferson Parish was experiencing an attendance rate of 600,000 people at its parades on Fat Tuesday.

The 1980's were were good times for Mardi Gras. In 1987 Rex brought back the custom of Lundi Gras, the arrival of the masked Rex King on the Mississippi River which had been celebrated from 1874 through 1917. The traditional tableau ball, however, lost popularity. Once considered essential, only 10 krewes continued the tradition of masked balls by the end of the decade. Doubloons also lost some of their popularity when several krewes stopped producing them.

Mardi Gras is considered a key to reviving New Orleans’ tourism business following the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. The signs of the devastating storm are still obvious in swaths of the city but are largely unnoticeable to those who stay in the French Quarter and central business district.

Before the storm, about a million visitors came here over the four days capped by 2007 Fat Tuesday. Officials expected about 700,000 this year — about the same amount of people who came in 2006.

Halloween Mask

Halloween masks are an important part of Halloween. Halloween costumes are outfits worn on or around October 31, the day of Halloween. Halloween is a modern-day holiday originating in the Pagan Celtic holiday of Samhain. Costuming became popular for Halloween parties in America in the early 1900s, as often for adults as for children. The first mass-produced Halloween costumes appeared in stores in the 1950s when trick-or-treating became a fixture throughout the United States.

What sets Halloween costumes apart from costumes for other celebrations or days of dressing up is that they are often designed to imitate supernatural and scary beings. Popular monsters of legend or fiction are regular themes for Halloween costumes, as are pop culture figures like presidents, or film, television, and cartoon characters. Another popular trend is for women (and in some cases, men) to use Halloween as an excuse to wear particularly revealing costumes, showing off more skin than would be socially acceptable otherwise.

Halloween costume parties generally fall on, or around, October 31, often falling on the Friday or Saturday prior to Halloween.

According to The National Retail Federation’s (NRF) 2007 Halloween Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, the top Halloween costumes for children are:

Superman // Disney Princess
Power Ranger

The top Halloween costumes for adults are:

Sparrtan Warrior From the Movie 300
Ghost // Ghoul

The Haunted Mask is a horror children's novel by R. L. Stine. It was one of more popular of the highly successful Goosebumps book series, and so was made into a one-hour TV movie, broadcast later as two episode on the Goosebumps television series. This story deals with a timid girl who buys a Halloween mask that wouldn't come off.

The Mask originated as comic book series by publisher Dark Horse Comics. It was later adapted into the 1994 film The Mask, starring Jim Carrey, a spin-off television cartoon series and a 2005 film sequel Son of the Mask. In all versions the story initially centers around a magical, wooden mask which gives anyone who places it on their face nearly limitless power and an altered appearance, which is most categorized by a large set of teeth and green head.

The title of the comic book originally referred to the magical mask itself and not the green headed superhero-like character it unleashed, who was referred to as Big Head in the early stories. It was not until the films and television series that the green headed superhero character himself became known as The Mask.

Likewise, in the original comic stories characters who wore the Mask would become dangerous anti-heroes with ultra-violent tendencies, even if this was not the original intention of those using its power. But again when adapted to film and television the violence was toned down and the character of The Mask was depicted more as a mischievous superhero.

The material used in the making of masks offers a very large diversity of choices. Most of them were made out of natural material, such as animal skin, wood, paper, feathers, straw, horsehair or even tortoise shell. The actors of the Noh theater often wear masks made of hinoki which is a sort of cypress found in Japan. Also, the actors of the Italian Commedia Dell'Arte mainly use leather as the material for their masks, as it ensures greater comfort for acting.

Anthropologists have been able to define the role of masks in different societies, sometimes in great detail. It would be untrue to say that masks had one role; actually, they had several that different societies and cultures used more or less, and in different ways.

We know that masks served in various rituals dedicated to hunting, war, death and were used in different ceremonies, such as baptisms or funerals. In fact, masks had three main functions, adapted to these rituals, which are hiding, transforming and scaring. A mask indeed hides and protects whoever wears one, and in primitive societies, it was meant to protect from spirits and evil creatures. It also transforms whoever wears it, giving them the strength and power of what it represents and making them no longer human. Finally, the mask scares and as a result inverts the roles. Very often, these three functions superpose themselves, leading to a state of trance. It is important to notice that these functions are actually the ones of mimicry used by insects.

The Native American tribes in North America used masks mainly to cause fear and, as a result, respect. Still, they were used a lot in shamanist rituals, especially for therapeutic purposes. Other rituals ensured success in hunting, or honored divine entities. Also, masks were used for entertainment. Three categories of masks were used; Iroquois tribes specialized in false faces (deformed masks), while Native tribes from the Northwest of the continent used articulated masks. In the Southwest, they were usually made of leather.

Masks were widely used in ancient Sri Lanka for devil dance rituals, Although some of the masks are quite large and complex in their structure, most of those traditionally used in the various natima (dance) ceremonies are considered three quarter masks. Strapped to the face, they extend from the middle of the forehead to just below the mouth. This type of lightweight construction makes it easier for the dancer to wear during the often spastic and exaggerated movements executed during a performance which could last up to twelve hours.

In Mexico and Central America, most towns have both a Christian name and an indigenous name, for example, Santiago Tianguistenco, or Santa Maria Axixitla. All Christian saints have a specific day in the year dedicated to them, and each town typically has a festival on that day, involving a combination of Christian and indigenous tradition. These festivals frequently include parades and street theatre that act out a story. The masks and costumes from these festivals have become collectors items. A mask used in such a festival is known as having been "danzada" or "danced." These hand-made, painted masks are typically made from wood and may use rope, animal horns or teeth, or rubber from tire inner tubes.

In Africa, specifically West Africa, masks play an important role in traditional ceremonies and theatrical dances. All African masks fall into one of four categories: the ancestor spirit, the mythological hero, the combination of ancestor and hero, and the animal spirit.

The archeological discoveries in Egypt also taught us that masks were used by ancient civilizations to ensure a certain immortality to the dead. Thus, the funeral mask found in Toutankhamon's tomb, which was made of 11 kilos of pure gold, had realistic features, as an effigy of the sovereign whose flesh had become divine.

Beside their mystical roles, masks also had a social function, often symbolizing obedience, such as the Nie Bwei mask, in the Ivory Coast, which literally means "the one who commands."

A death mask is a plaster or wax cast made of a person's face following death. Death masks may be mementos of the dead, or be used for creation of portraits. It is sometimes possible to identify portraits that have been painted from death masks, because of the characteristic slight distortions of the features caused by the weight of the plaster during the making of the mould.

In the seventeenth century, it was common for death masks to be used as part of the effigy of the deceased, displayed at state funerals. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries they were also used to permanently record the features of corpses for the purposes of identification. This function was later replaced by photography.

Proponents of phrenology and ethnography also used both death masks and life masks (taken from living subjects) for scientific and pseudoscientific purposes.

Actor Tor Johnson is the subject of one of the most famous purported death masks of all time. His likeness was made into a Halloween mask that has been a best-seller to this day. However, it appears to be an urban legend that this mask was crafted from his death mask. Most likely, it was made from a cast of his face taken by the make-up department during the filming of one of his many horror films. Visit Haere : Laurence Hutton Collection of Life and Death Masks

Masquerade And Carnival

In the Middle Ages, in Europe, their usage during popular feasts and representations was actively prohibited by the church, which considered them evil, as they often represented the devil. Also, the church considered carnivals and popular masquerades as a return to paganism and a contradiction with Christianity.

Nowadays, most societies have abandoned the usage of masks in mystical rituals, reserving them for carnivals and some forms of theatrical representations. One of the last usages in the Western world related to religion is found in Spain, where penitents wear a hood entirely covering their face, during the processions of the Holy Week.

The etymology of the word carnival comes from the Vulgar Latin form carnelevare, which literally means "to abandon the flesh." It's important to know that carnivals still follow the calendar, and as such, they always take place in symbolic periods. Thus, carnivals are traditionally celebrated in the weeks preceding Lent, and represent the last day when food excess is allowed.

As a general rule, and although there are a few exceptions, carnivals are celebrated between the winter solstice and the springtime equinox.

Today they carry a dimension that is symbolic, social and aesthetic, while they were first a magic-religious celebration used to invert roles in society and make satirical points.

Different countries have different "rituals" related to the carnival and the usage of masks. Thus, in Central and Eastern Europe, the main character of the carnival is St. Nicholas, celebrated from December 6th to January 6th (day of Epiphany). In Romania, masks are used when holding a vigil for the dead, to entertain them.

Representations in people's homes, alms, tricks and wishes are traditional when the masks are out. In some regions in Portugal, the main legendary character is named Chocalheiro. In Bielorussia, the mask of the goat is the symbol of fertility for the crops. In the Austrian Tyrol, Roller and Scheller are the two most popular masks; Roller represents the coming springtime while Scheller represents the winter that's leaving.

Some characters which symbolically bear all the sins are judged and destroyed, to deliver from evil spirits or, like in Romania and Moldavia, to expiate people's sins and bring peace for the Easter celebrations.

Another similar example is, of course, Halloween, who was originally the first day of the year in Celtic civilizations, and the celebration of the dead (All Saints' Day).

Out of Europe, carnivals can be a very important cultural event, like in New Orleans, USA or in South America. In Haiti, although the carnival arrived with the European settlers, it keeps a lot of archaic symbolism such as exorcism. In Brazil, the famous carnival of Rio de Janeiro is actually a richer version of an old Portuguese feast named Entrudo. Lastly, the celebration of the Chinese New Year is another example of a popular parade that involves masks and costumes.

The carnival of Venice has gotten more and more popular over the past twenty years. Still, the usage of masks in the city served a different purpose in history, especially in the 18th century. In Venice, masks were used in everyday life as a way to remain incognito, and to transgress social classes. The Venetian society, which was very fond of intrigues of all sorts, found in masks a very convenient way to remain discrete in all situations. And, oddly enough, masked parades such as carnivals were relatively rare in Venice.

The hood made of black silk, which was worn by men, is called bauta. It is completed by a piece of lace which hides the bottom of the face and goes down to the waist. It was traditionally accompanied with a tabaro (a coat, usually black or grey, scarlet for the noble), a tricorn, and a larva (a white semi mask). Women would usually wear a moretta, which is a black velvet mask.

Death Masks

A death mask is a plaster or wax cast made of a person's face following death. Death masks may be mementos of the dead, or be used for creation of portraits. It is sometimes possible to identify portraits that have been painted from death masks, because of the characteristic slight distortions of the features caused by the weight of the plaster during the making of the mould.

In the seventeenth century, it was common for death masks to be used as part of the effigy of the deceased, displayed at state funerals. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries they were also used to permanently record the features of corpses for the purposes of identification. This function was later replaced by photography.

Proponents of phrenology and ethnography also used both death masks and life masks (taken from living subjects) for scientific and pseudoscientific purposes.

A death mask, as such, is known as a part of traditions of virtually all countries and nations. The most important process of the funeral ceremony in the ancient Egypt was the mummification of a body which, after prayers and consecration, was put into a sarcophagus enameled and decorated with gold and gems. A special element of the rite was a death mask, put on the face of the deceased. This mask was believed to strengthen the spirit of the mummy and guard the soul from evil spirits in its way to the afterworld. The most well known death mask is the mask of Pharaoh Tutankhamun (the eighteenth dynasty). Made of gold and gems, the mask truthfully conveys the features of the ancient kingdom ruler.

The ancient Greeks used wax to make death masks, which even then was attributed with magic power. In November of 1876, the famous archeologist Heinrich Schliemann discovered in Mycenae six graves, being fully confident that those belonged to the kings and ancient Greek heroes Agamemnon, Cassandra, Evrimdon, and their associates. To his surprise, the skulls were covered by the gold death masks never mentioned by Homer. It is now thought highly unlikely that the death masks that Schliemann found really belonged to Agamemnon and other heroes of the Homeric epic.

In the Middle Ages, a shift took place from the precious masks to the masks made out of the wax and plaster casts. The masks were not being put into graves any more. Instead, as true rarity, they were kept in the libraries, museums, and universities. The death masks were taken not only of the deceased royalty and nobility (Henry VIII, Sforza), but also of the eminent persons - poets, philosophers, and dramaturges, such as Dante, Filippo Brunelleschi, Torquato Tasso, Shakespeare, and Blaise Pascal. The death masks were then used for making marble sculpture portraits and busts or printed gravures of the deceased.

In Russia, the death mask tradition dates back to the times of Peter the Great. His death mask taken by Carlo Bartolomeo Rastrelli as well as death masks of Alexander I, Nicholas I, and Alexander II are well known.

The origin of this tradition in Ukraine dates back to the ancient times when the unknown painters of Kiev Pechersk Lavra were creating three-dimensional portraits of saints. Their main purpose was to keep the image of the holy people for the descendants. One of the first real Ukrainian death masks known is the mask of the Ukrainian poet Taras Shevchenko taken by Peter Clodt von Jürgensburg in Petersburg.

The face of Resusci Anne, the world's first CPR training Mannequin, introduced in 1960, was modeled after L'Inconnue de la Seine, the death mask of an unidentified young woman found drowned in the Seine River in 1900.

Also see: Laurence Hutton Collection of Life and Death Masks


Mask on the Internet


International Mask and Carnival Museum of Binche

The Noh Mask Effect: A Facial Expression Illusion

The Mask (1994)
The Mask - Cast, Crew, Reviews, Plot Summary, Comments, Discussion, Taglines, Trailers, Posters, Photos, Showtimes, Link to Official Site, Fan Sites.


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Mask - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Collection of authentic danced masks from Mexico and Guatemala with discussions and comments on the art of collecting and other curious observations.


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Each mask was made according to a traditional style, and each was worn by a trained performer. The African masks that hang on walls of Western art museums, ...


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Halloween Masks From AnyMask.com For Halloween
Halloween masks - website offering huge selection of halloween masks and other types of masks!




Join us now as we travel to the edge between the worlds, to locations and destinations where visits from the “other side” are more than commonplace.