The purpose of the death masks were to cover the mummified body. Egyptians believed that the mummified body was a place for the spirit or ka to dwell in. The death mask would cover the mummified body, yet would allow the person’s ka to recognize their own body so that it may enter the body. These masks were to provide death a face in the afterlife.
Death masks were made to look like the person the mask was representing. Death masks were made out of gold, but also out of linen or papyrus, and painted to look like gold. The most famous death mask is the Golden Death Mask of Tutankhamun, as pictured below on the left.
Ritual masks were used during religious rituals known as death rituals. During these ceremonies, a priest would wear a ritual mask that was the head of the god Anubus, which was that of a head of a jackal. The mask was typically taller than the wearer, and covered the head and the shoulders of the priest who wore the mask. The priest would have limited vision while wearing the mask, due to the small eyeholes found in the neck of the jackal. These masks were usually painted black.
What are the two types of masks that were used in Ancient Egyptian culture?
What material were Death Masks most commonly made out of?