Monthly Archives: January 2013

Ancient Greek Masks

ancientgreekmask Ancient Greek Masks

One symbol often associated with ancient Greece is the masks. Masks were popular in ancient Greek theater and a key element of plays by Sophocles, Aristophanes and more. The masks used in Greek theater have become iconic as symbols of cinema in the modern age.

Ancient Greek Mask Design

The masks were made by people called skeuopoios which means maker of the properties and suggests an important role. Their design was sometimes made incorporating helmets and a wig attached to it. In spite of what you might think the masks were made largely out of organic and natural lightweight materials such as linen, wood and cork, with human or animal hair woven in. The only holes in the masks were for eyes and mouth.

Masks were used in Greek cinema to allow the actors to portray multiple characters during the same show, as well as that, they meant that men (there were only male actors allowed on stage) were able to portray women on stage. The masks formed the basis for some classic plays and performances which have formed the roots of a lot of performance acting today, however, the masks themselves only tend to be used in modern day performances with a Greek theme and that are supposed to be a throwback to this golden age. Directors in theater are often torn regarding the use of these masks but there can be no denying that the imagery that they create can be a useful tool in portraying Greece and its rich history.

The use of masks was not only a performance thing but played a part in ritual and worship too. They were a part of the worship of Dionysus and used to represent important characters in rituals. A group may wear the same mask in order to represent one character in question.

In the modern age, as well as being used as icons for many theatrical and cinematic companies and entities, the ancient Greek mask has also led to a range of interesting items available for either fancy dress and costume or jewelry and artwork inspired by their image. Some beautiful ornamentation and home-ware also features the masks as a symbol

 Ancient Greek Masks

The above piece of jewelry is inspired by ancient Greek culture and makes an interesting party piece to talk about. Ancient Greek Masks

Melina World Jewellery – Comedy & Tragedy Masks 5002 – Sterling Silver 925 – Handmade in Greece and inspired by Olympic, Greek and Mediteranean history and motives. Beads fits Biagi. Chamilia, Pandora and Trollbeads etc.

 Ancient Greek Masks

 Ancient Greek Masks

This is a 10″ by 8″ print of ancient Greek masks, just one of a huge variation of available pieces of artwork inspired by them.

 Ancient Greek MasksPhotographic Print of Greek Theatrical Masks from Mary Evans

So there you have it. These masks are a really interesting item with a rich history, much like most aspects of the culture of Greece. If you have any more information on the masks drop me a comment and I’d be happy to include it in the article.
 Ancient Greek Masks