Masks were probably the first objects of African Art to capture the interest of art lovers of the New World. Like sculptures, masks served distinct functions. They were used for initiation, fertility rites, ancestor and spiritual worship, and other ceremonies.
The multitude of styles the masks produced revealed great artistic stories. African masks have been collected since artists like Pablo Picasso started his famous collection. He has stated that African masks inspired much of his work.
As with the people, the face of the African mask reveals its origin in style. No two masks are alike; thus all are authentic one-of-a-kinds. The authenticity of African masks lies in the fact that the masks were once used for the purpose it was produced—in other words, they have all “danced.”