Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Majora's Mask The Importance of the Masks in the Terminian Culture

Masks at the Carnival of Time
(8/8/2017) --- One aspect of Majora's Mask as a game that not many people has taken the time to analyze is that is the first game to be more open about the religion in the Hylian mythology within the setting of the Carnival of Time (1) and how the masks play a central element on their rituals.

It is important to know that the idea of Hylia as a Deity doesn't exists on Termina, same with Din, Farore and Nayru. There aren't implications that they are the central deities of Termina but rather small hints around Stone Tower Temple that they were adored by the Kingdom of Icana way before their demise.

Clock Tower
The rituals of the inhabitants of Clock Tower as well Termina have some similarities to the Yoruba religion (2) but also ti the Mayans (3) due the use of bricks and heavy coloration patterns that mimic the ones found in the archaeological sites and artifacts.

The essence of Majora's Mask itself is how the masks play an important part of the Terminian culture; all of them contain mask on certain degree and the cultures gather together to celebrate the Carnival of Time which is a major yearly celebration to ask to the Gods (Giants) for good weather, peace and prosperity on another calendar year.

Yet the on how the masks move everything is just amazing how the story unfolds towards them as fetishes (4), from marriage to finding items but on how three masks i.e. the Goron, the Deku and the Zora shows the last moments before someone died, those are called death masks (5). Death masks are effigies of the dead; the last moments captured in a mold of clay or any other material when a person died; they can look peaceful or in pain, it was a common practice for people who didn't had the money to buy a photograph (6) back in the 18th and 19th Century.

There are elements of Majora's Mask that symbolize the early rise of technology in the industrial revolution, such as photography and how that death masks were still present. You, as the player you can go and take photos inside the game, but inhabitants seem to be not aware of the technology as it seems that world was rising to an age different from the feudal system seen in the main universe.

Deku Link
Figures as Napoleon and Mary Queen of Scots, just to name a few, were people who had their faces immortalized in death. The Deku Scrub is probably the most horrible demise; the players can see the pain he was living before being executed by the Skull Kid.

The importance of the masks within the game, represent life and death and how fragile life is but also represent the cultural importance on how Termina life was.

Couples Mask
Even with marriage rites we can see that people as Anju and Kafei take importance on the dates, but use a paraphernalia named the Couple's Mask to sign their union in front of everyone during the Carnival of Time. In essence the masks are closely tied to the culture of the entire land, in which everyone is linked to the use of the artifacts to represent a stage of their lives much as symbol of happiness or sorrow.








References:

  1. Web retrieved: https://zelda.gamepedia.com/Carnival_of_Time
  2. Web retried:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoruba_religion
  3. Web retrieved: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_civilization
  4. Web retrieved: http://www.historyofmasks.net/
  5. Web retrieved: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_mask
  6. Web retrieved: https://www.biography.com/news/famous-death-masks

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