African masks should be seen as part of a ceremonial costume. They are used in religious and social events to represent the spirits of ancestors or to control the good and evil forces in the community. They come to life, possessed by their spirit in the performance of the dance, and are enhanced by the music, color and atmosphere of the occasion. Some combine human and animal features to unite man with his natural environment. This bond with nature and the spirit world is of great importance to many tribal cultures and through the ages masks have always been used to express this relationship.