I find masks to be very interesting. They are used for various reasons. To conceal one’s identity; to enhance one’s outfit; to hide some kind of facial imperfection due to disease, fire, or other medical reason; to support/protect a part of the face that was injured in some way; to keep one from getting sick or inhaling something they shouldn’t. There are many reasons someone would wear a mask.
In past traditions people wore masks to parties, or masquerade balls. “Masquerade balls were a feature of the Carnival season in the 15th century, and involved increasingly elaborate allegorical Royal Entries, pageants, and triumphal processions celebrating marriages and other dynastic events of late medieval court life.” – Wikipedia So, masks have a very long history. There are also some very famous masks out there. We all know the mask that was worn in the Phantom of The Opera.
Or the mask worn by Guy Fawkes that was made more widely known by the movie V For Vendetta.
Or even more traditionally the Comedy and Tragedy masks from the time when stage plays were very popular forms of entertainment.
Even now masks are used in the yearly tradition of Mardi Gras or Carnival throughout the country, but particularly in New Orleans. I was down in New Orleans in the middle of January this year and there were masks, and mask related paraphernalia, everywhere. Bright shades of green, purple, and gold were all over. There were masks galore! I even found a couple cheap ones to buy for myself.
The third one pictured is one that has always caught my eye. There is something about the shape that intrigues me. The elongation of the nose portion, and the fact that it changes almost the entire face shape when worn, making the wearer less identifiable. I like the idea of being able to hide your identity, and/or becoming someone else, when you wear a mask. My research led me into looking at goth, or cybergoth, masks. Some look like converted or updated medical masks, while other look like updated versions of gas masks.
It really does amaze me how mu time and effort people put into making masks for specific superficial reasons. These masks don’t really serve any purpose other than to enhance the appearance of an outfit. They are still incredible work.
My research into sensory deprivation mask led me more into the world of BDSM, where masks are made with the specific purpose of removing one’s access to one or more of their senses in order to deprive the person, or in order to enhance their other sense. Some are used to remove some of one’s personal identity, or even their humanity
There are a lot of masks out there. I guess I never really thought about how many there are. There are more then I can even talk about. I am adding a few more below of some more masks that have caught my eye while doing research. It is going to be difficult to find a style of my own, and figure out exactly what I am going to do.