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How to display African Masks for Home Decor

Wall space: whether it is home living room walls, stairways, dining and office wall space, lodges, or hotels, there is no limit on where to place the mask accent. But where to put them? That is the question.

When arranging a collection of masks, it is better to start with your favorite large piece, at eye level, and then work your way out, filling the available space with different sizes. You can try arranging them in different shapes like hexagons, squares, ovals, round, or straight lines whatever feels right for the space. For instance, if the wall space is large with lots of light, I would recommend the above photo option with many different masks, and if it's a smaller space I would recommend fewer masks if a staircase straight line would be more suited.

1. African masks cultural appropriation

We cannot talk about African masks without touching on the subject of their spiritual meanings.

A question that often comes up is whether it is ethical and culturally appropriate to display tribal masks in our homes. There is no one answer to that; some researchers say that most Masks in the market today have not Been used for spiritual rituals. Most are traded to tourists and resellers for business. Many of the original Masks were traded off over 50 years ago, and are now shown off in Western museums, or auctioned for millions of dollars to collectors.

In the African market, craftsmen sell replicas of the original masks, which serve in educating people on their cultural backgrounds and reselling to the world for income, The craft sustains over a million craftsmen and their families. The question of ethics and cultural appropriation should be on educating the cultural background to show appreciation and trying to visualize the craftsmen's intention when making the mask.


Tribal Masks are used for religious and social events to represent the spirits of the ancestors or to control the good and evil forces in the community. It comes to life when the mask is possessed by the spirits in a dance performance, enhanced by the music, color, and atmosphere of the occasion. Some combine human and animal features to unite man with his natural environment. This bond with nature and the spirit world is of great importance to many tribal cultures and through the ages, masks have always been used to express this relationship. the mask's spirit leaves the mask at the end of the ritual, and it is then disposed of.