A mask completely or partially covers its user’s face. There are masks for many different purposes and uses. The oldest preserved masks are about 9,000 years old, but based on rock art paintings, masks were worn even before that. Masks can be used for ritual purposes, for entertainment or to remain unidentified. Masks are often also used as protective equipment. In 2020, protective masks became commonplace for many people.
The use of a mask is often associated with a specific event, ceremony or celebration. For example, there are theatre masks, dance masks and death masks. Masks reflect emotional states and emphasise facial gestures. Sometimes masks have been used to heal and other times to mediate supernatural forces. Various masks have been worn in almost all cultures in the world.