The mask has become one of the most ancient forms of expression ever created. In the majority of communities around the world, the mask has a main role in different aspects in the customs and the life of people as the mask has magical and spiritual values. 

When a person put the mask on his face, the piece of material which shows a frozen expression comes to life and becomes expressive dance accessory that makes the coordination between movements and musical beats even more impactful.

The golden fund of video materials of EAFF shows three options for artistic performance with a hidden face:

Pointed hoods - beautiful pointed hats have conical form and are made of white cloth with decorations of flowers and mirrors, as well as with traditional Bulgarian embroideries. In the village of Otets Paisievo, Kaloyanovo municipality, there are mummers with the longest mask - more than 3 metres. The shortest "hood" is 90 cm, and the longest - 4 m. Balancing with these type masks during a dance needs a lot of efforts. Beside the men, even little boys from the region participate in the custom and keep the tradition. Mummers group at "Probuda 1903" was created in 1903 and then they have had only two masks which were used by about 30 men who were going through the village on Sirni Zagovezeni  in order to chase the evil that has came in the winter. Enjoy the dance of the mummers and learn more about the typical conical masks.

Mongolian masks - they are used for visualization the characters who appear in traditional Buddhist dances, known as Tsam. The "Tsam" dance is part of the secret tantric rituals. Although its origin is from Tibet, the dance is enriched with various Mongolian cultural elements, namely the creative imagination and aesthetics of Mongolian craftsmen, the roles of heroic figures from folk myths and epics, as well as elements of shamanism and archaic religious phenomena. These Mongolian elements give the dance its own Mongolian character. Dance art is closely linked to the craft of masks. In addition to angry deities, masks also introduce calm characters, depicting happy and humorous faces. Mongolian masks, in comparison with those of other Buddhist countries, are the largest in size and have the most detailed design and also are part of the most exquisite costumes and decorations. Each mask represents the different character and role of the dancer. Mongolian masks symbolize the actual presence of a deity and their eyes have no openings and dancers cannot see through them. Therefore, performers should look through the mouth of the masks, and this feature adds extra height to the artists. Masks are treated as statues as well as sacred objects. When not in use, they are stored in monasteries and worshiped in daily rituals. You can watch the performance  with Mongolian masks of Folklore ensemble "Domog" from Ulaan Baator.

Indonesian masks - In Indonesia, the mask was originally used as a means of ritual performances. The Indonesians believed that the spirits of their ancestors were embodied in the masks and, while wearing them, turned to them, begging for rain or thanking for the rich harvest. “Topeng” means a mask in Indonesian. "Topeng Cirebon" is one of the traditional dances that is performed in the Sundan region of West Java. There are five main characters in the tradition of Cirebon masks: Rahwana, Tumenggung, Rumyang, Samba and Panji, all with different characters symbolizing good and evil. According to local beliefs, masks can be used as protection against evil spirits, and each has distinctive features that set it apart from the rest. Enjoy the performance with masks of Folklore ensemble at the State Institute of Tourism and Culture - Jakarta, Indonesia.