Masks in the world civilization has been an ancient product and wearable since the development of societies and civilization. It has been associated with great values and performance artifacts all over the world in the past and has been used in so many different kinds that it has grown in to a different industry of its own over the time.
The word mask itself has so many disguise like in Spanish it is said to be a word mas que la cara which means more than a face and in Arabic they say it comes from the word mascara which means to disguise whereas it also is adjoin with the word mascara which translates it to blacken the face and so on till fifteen hundred and thirty when the word mask was appeared in English and then heard and used by the world.
The uses of masks have been in a few different fields like
Masks has been discovered for protection purposes by the armies in ancient times where it has been worn on face to protect them by animal attacks during hunting and to save face from sword attacks during war times.
It has also been used to protect loved ones from evil forces in some civilization where masks been used during ceremonial services and also in funerals.
We can see some ancient mask designs in Mesopotamia civilization where they started to keep their loved ones protected by converting their bodies in to mummies and covering their faces with masks so that the death wouldn’t see their faces and take them away.
Although these all have been a superstition as no one ever came back after death as they believed but masks on living souls has been very useful for protection even today.
Human always have fear for unknown and this fear derived humans to find a way to disguise and thus the use of masks came in to light. In ancient times when there were not so many ways to know someone because of no cameras and photographs or other sources of communications.
The kings and influential people used the masks to hide themselves from the common public especially in times of ceremonies and other public appearances. The masks were used to disguise them with several other people to save them from any harm from the enemy side.
Sometimes this disguise was done to make people believe that their emperors have superficial powers and immortality in some civilization where they have only seen the mask of their emperors.
Art has its own language they say but in art the visual expressions are sometimes more important than the dialogue. The masks in every culture and society have been adopted to showcase different expressions of human nature like the anger or love and even cruelty.
Each mask designed in a way to express the art of human nature has been a part of almost every culture across the globe. Let it be medieval European societies or the Roman Empire, the Chinese dynasty or the Indian emperors they all have used masks as an artifact of performing art
The category of functional mask is the one with the masks in use today in several industries as a protective gear or for occupational requirements. These masks which are in function can be categories in so many ways like
Medical masks are the masks used for medical duties and purposes and are sometime work as critical equipment while saving a person’s life. These are mentioned as below.
- Oxygen mask is used to help the patient breath.
- Burn Mask protects the burn tissues from contact with another surface.
- Surgical Mask is a piece of medical equipment that protects both the surgeon and the patient to acquire infection from each other.
- Face shield is used to protect medical professionals from bodily fluids.
- Pocket mask or CPR masks are used to help deliver the rescue breaths during a cardiac arrest.
Occupational Masks are the masks used to avoid injuries during some risk full jobs. These masks are usually used in special circumstances. Some of the masks are as below.
- Beaked masks have been used by the doctors during the plague in early modern Europe.
- Filter mask are a piece of cloth which is been used to filter the air quality.
- Full-face diving mask contains a cylinder of oxygen and has been used by the deep-sea divers across the world
- Gas mask are the masks used to protect the wearer from the pollutant environment during gas leaks.
- High altitude oxygen mask helps the pilots during flights mostly used by the air force pilots.
- Welding mask is a kind of protective gear used during the welding procedures.
The History of masks tells us the importance and usage of masks made of wooden, metals and fabrics like cotton. Which have been and are still an important equipment for safety during times of crises.
Let the crises be a war zone or a high altitude and water pressure or even a biological epidemic like COVID-19 or Spanish flu. The masks made of cotton have always been best safety equipment for the human civilization to survive the hard times.