It is possible that the headdresses from Star Carr were used to transform their human wearers into animals as an element in some sort of ritual. This concept of transformation is important in traditions of masking through time and across cultures. In Mesolithic Britain, the transformation was probably related to success in hunting red deer. Other uses of a mask may include driving away demons, evoking the support of dead ancestors and making present gods and other spiritual beings. Here is a selection of masks from around the world that illustrate some of the uses to which they are put.
A bigger picture
Next section: Teaching ideas