Even the origins of scary Halloween masks go back to the old Celtic festival of Samhuinn (Scottish spelling). These Celtic masks were used to blend in with the dead who were believed to be able to cross over during this time of year because this is the time when the Ovates would do their rituals to help the recently deceased cross over, hence the veil was thinnest. Some of these spirits might have held a grudge or were kind of scary so they would use turnips (pumpkins in North America) and Celtic masks to frighten them away from themselves and their homes. One theory is that the people wore these costumes and Celtic masks to mimic the evil spirits and gain their goodwill and not damage crops or their things.
Owning and Storing a mask: When using a Celtic tribal mask in ritual, always remember that the Celtic mask should never be taken lightly. If you are going to learn to use a Celtic mask, you must remember to revere it as a sacred object. Wrap it in a sacred cloth and store it in a respected place. When the Celtic mask is used a lot, it will become a living being with its own power. By putting his own self inside and allowing his body to be shared by the spirit the animal mask represents, the Shaman becomes that spirit. Celtic and Viking masks and often their form and function were passed down through clans, families, or from individual to individual. When a new owner receives the gift, it is usually spiritually reactivated or aesthetically restored by polishing, repainting and redecorating, without destroying the basic form and symbolism. In many instances, however, the mask is used only for one ceremony or occasion and then is discarded or destroyed, sometimes by burning.
Types of Celtic Masks: Animal head masks and skins were common feature of the Celtic rituals performed. I will research Vikings on this as well soon. They were made from various materials from wood, shells, gems, horn, bones, clay, stone, feathers, animal skins, fur, paper, cloth and plants.
If you try on a Celtic mask at home, you know you feel braver out in public or feel like you want to take on the character the mask portrays right! This is kind of the same thing only more intense. You will know that you've performed correctly when you are donning the mask and you undergo a psychic change and get into a trance that assumes the spirit of the mask. The wearer seems to becomes psychologically attached and loses his own identity, without his own will. Those watching, depending on the character of the masquerade mask, get wrapped up and dance for joy or quietly watch and feel the fright or emotion the mask and music brings to them.
owner of Celts and Vikings Mythology Shop selling renowned Celtic Masks by Brahva (Laurie Lee's Artists Brandname) in Canada
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