The history regarding art of oceania is rich in complex cosmogonic and mythological systems. Ritual and religion have a strong influence on every part of oceania life, and they are closely related to the arts.
Spiritual symbolism fulfills not only the objects, dances and addresses used in rituals, but also the tools and materials from which they are made.
Pace African & Oceanic Art organises various art galleries and exhibitions in New york which is very renowned for their authentic and genuine oceanic art. This gallery reflects one of the many areas of oceanic culture that sets it apart from other world cultures.
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Many oceanic art galleries focus on oceanic ritual objects, especially the oceanic masks used in rituals. The masks of the various oceania rituals and purposes are revealed.
What they are made of indicates that they only used substances from their surrounding to create them, since the main art form in Oceania is wood carving. Most of these masks are made of wood.
Organic substances such as hair, leaves and various dyes are also added. The most fertile areas to find this mask are Melanesia and Polynesia; Hence, masks were common in the first area, but not common in the second. Many oceanic civilizations in Melanesia used most days of the year to honor ancestors or spirits.
The mask is one of the most important ritual objects which can be used to represent the characteristics of the deceased, to honor them and to forge a relationship through the mask using the spiritual world. Sometimes they are used to encourage the soul of a recently deceased person to go to the spirit world.