The beliefs of the Ancient Egyptians
concentrated not only on their daily life but also the prospect of life
after death - the eternal afterlife.
The Ancient Egyptians used elaborate masks to
great effect. Egyptian masks were generally used as:
Egyptian Death Masks
or Burial Masks
The Egyptians believed that preserving the body in death
by the process of mummification was
important to keep their soul alive -
physical body the soul had no place to dwell and became
The Ancient Egyptian death masks were used to cover the face of mummies
and ensure that the spirit of the dead person was able to recognize the
body. Royal death masks or burial masks, such as the fabulous
Golden Death Mask
of Tutankhamun, King Tut, were made of gold in the image of the
deceased. Egyptian Gold was believed
to have a magical potency and believed to contain significant religious
properties. Gold did not tarnish or deteriorate. But more importantly,
gold shone like the sun god Ra (Atum) and was therefore credited with
the powers of the sun god.
Other death masks, or burial masks,
were made of linen or papyrus and painted to look like gold.
purpose of the death masks, or burial masks, was to provide the dead
with a face in the afterlife. Death masks were made for both Egyptian
men and women.
Egyptian Ritual Masks
The Ancient Egyptians also made use of masks during sacred ceremonies
and rituals. The religion of the
Ancient Egyptians was extremely important to them and touched every
aspect of their life. Temples were believed to be
the dwelling places of the gods and the statues of
the gods were believed to be the
embodiment of the god, hence the offerings of food and drink. Their
religion was surrounded by mystery - only priests and the Pharaoh were
allowed into the temples. Their religion was also surrounded by magic
and the use of spells. Their vision of the Underworld was terrifying.
Their need to enter the eternal afterlife was paramount. Egyptian masks
were used during sacred ceremonies and rituals and increased the levels
of mystic and fear which surrounded their religion. The Death rituals of
the Egyptians included a priest wearing a mask of the jackal headed god
Anubis. Other masks, mirroring the images of other gods and goddesses,
were also used in rituals involving magic, spells and incantations.
Egyptian Masks -
Masks of the head of the Jackal God Anubis
The Death rituals of the Egyptians
included a priest wearing a mask of the jackal headed god Anubis. These
masks were large, being taller than the head of the wearer. They were
worn over the head and covered part of the shoulders of the priest. The
snout and raised ears of the jackal head towered over the priests head.
The priest who wore the Anubis mask had restricted vision through two
small holes which were located on the neck area of the mask. The effect
of these ritual masks created a daunting illusion of Anubis.
Each section of this Egyptian website addresses all topics and
provides interesting facts and information about the Golden Age of
Egypt. The Sitemap provides full details
of all of the information and facts provided about the fascinating subject of Egypt, the Ancient Egyptians and of the Pharaoh Tutankhamun, King Tut.