The ritual and theatrical definitions of mask usage frequently overlap and merge but still provide a useful basis for categorisation.
Sometimes a slave or a criminal was temporarily granted the insignia and status of royalty, only to be killed after the festival ended.
A mask is an object normally worn on the face, typically for protection, disguise, performance, or entertainment.
Masks have been used since antiquity for both ceremonial and practical purposes.
The mask is normally a part of a costume that adorns the whole body and embodies a tradition important to the religious and/or social life of the community as whole or a particular group within the community.
Masks are used almost universally and maintain their power and mystery both for their wearers and their audience.
The word "mask" appeared in English in the 1530s, from Middle French masque "covering to hide or guard the face", derived in turn from Italian maschera, from Medieval Latin masca "mask, specter, nightmare".