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Research on Transformation Masks

This is a SAMPLE research paper on the transformation masks used by the Native American Indians. How they were used and their purpose will be examined. Custom research papers are Paper Masters specialty. The thesis statement and Transformation Masks you see here is just a SAMPLE term paper of what we can provide you in research. Papers are always original and we guarantee each research paper, essay, book report or term paper that is sold by Paper Masters will never be resold and is plagiarism-free.

Transformation Masks research paper from Paper Masters

Transformation MasksComposed will be a research paper describing the use and purpose of American Indians use of transformation masks. Here is what you should include:

  1. What are the religious undertones and what is the significant importance of the masks?  
  2. Describe the rituals they are used in.
  3. Describe the artifacts that have been found. Are they used today?

This is a sample of the types of topics we write on at Paper Masters. You may order this exact paper to be custom written for you by copying and pasting the information here into the order form.

Transformation masks in Native American Indian culture served a dual purpose.  These transformation mask had both social and religious utility.  With regards to the religious importance of transformation masks, anthropologist Bill Holm writes, “Masks are the means by which the supernatural world is made visible.  They may represent powerful spiritual helpers whose potency infuses a shaman or dramatic manifestations of fabled creatures of family history.”  In terms of social utility, theatrical productions were the most significant social function of the Northwest Coast Indian people, a time when tribe members could not only gather and interact with one another, but assert their respective social status and notoriety.  In this type of ritual theater, transformation masks were used in accordance with musical accompaniment.  A transformation mask “embodied the historic incidents articulated in the song and demonstrated the privileges of the clan that owned the right to perform with this type of mask.” The display of the Other characterization to the audience by the performer wearing the transformation mask could thus be said to constitute not only an expression of spirituality and dual identity, but also the status and skill of a specific tribe and/or particular performer who danced with the transformation mask.

It is important to recognize this social aspect of the use of transformation masks.  Northwest Coast Indian peoples performed in transformation masks in a manner that was “self-consciously theatrical.”  As a result it can be said that transformation mask ceremonies, such as initiation society rituals in which actors were often transformed through the use of mask into supernatural beings, were above all else, highly creative endeavors which served to evidence the theatrical, creative, expressive nature of the Native American Indian peoples who utilized such disguises in their religious and social gatherings.

Bill Holm, The Box of Daylight: Northwest Coast Indian Art (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1983): 33

Neil, 454.

Ibid., 458

Ibid., 459

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