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Almost all early societies developed forms of Mask for religious ritual, which then carried over into performance (it must be remembered that even the Greek theatre had religious roots in the Orphic Rituals, while the Theatre of Epidaurus was linked with healing and built in conjunction with sanitariums and hospitals dedicated to Asclepius). In some societies such Masks and the shamanistic or spiritual dances associated with them continues to survive into the present day (as in Africa or Bali).
A crocodile figure with antelope horns, representing Nature forces: probably 19th Century.
Balinese Dance Drama
Gods, Demons, Witches and Nature Spirits in traditional Iconographic Masks.
Greek Bas Relief
Actor with masks.
Tragedy and comedy.
Complete covering of naked figure in tribe-specific colour and pattern, with corn headdress: early 20th Century Indonesia.