Saturday 24 September 2011


I recently read Chris Wooding’s The Braided Path trilogy and his use of masks has inspired this blog. They hold such mystery and are often the conduits for evil in fantasy stories.

Masks are a key element in studies of symbolism spanning a multitude of times and cultures. In traditional African society, they were used as a device of communication, worship and learning; a way to transform the human body into more than its basic components and use it to convey information and belief.

In modern society there is still no escape from the symbolism of the mask and masquerade that goes with it. All you need to do is look at a bookshelf, a fancy dress shop, watch television or film. You will see masks cropping up far more than expected. I attribute this both to the arrogant power and the hidden reverence we humans have for life, and its cost. We need masks both to hide behind and to exhibit in. Elloise Hopkins.

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