Many African cultures still host mask festivals and masquerades as a way of highlighting their cultures and celebrating their people. While over the years, these festivals have become huge attractions for tourists, they come with significant meaning for each community and for particular groups within these communities.
The festivals existed way before the Europeans colonised the continent and looted the spiritual and ritual masks, some of which are currently on display in museums overseas.
Even though there are similarities in these festivals, each community had a unique angle to theirs, making it even more complex and beautiful to behold.
Scroll through to learn the fascinating histories of these festivals and masquerades.