I’m intrigued with the concept of persona and how we use it to present or reveal aspects of our Self to the world. A mask perfectly embodies this concept. It is with our face that we approach the world, and it is with our persona, who we believe ourselves to be, that we interact with it.
“The word “person” derives from the Greek word “persona” that refers to the mask used by an actor to play a particular role. The persona, or the “mask” that we each wear, mediates between ourselves and society and between ourselves and the Other (whether you define “Other” as divinity, God or universal truth) and has done so since the beginning of human time.”
Like the mask, an individual’s persona mediates between its wearer and the worlds he or she seeks to inhabit. Think of the persona as a filter between the individual and whatever and whoever they come in contact with. The persona is honed by the desires of the individual and the demands of society throughout life and, by a certain age, most people have an idea of “who they are.” The persona is important in that it protects the individual from being crushed by the opinions and stress of society while at the same time offering a safe place for personal development from the inside out. The problems can come when a person identifies with their persona, or has adopted a certain ‘false’ persona to please others, eg parents, community.
In the mask making workshops that I lead, I invite participants to consider the way in which they may use a mask to hide behind or to present certain aspects of their self to the world or a hidden aspect of their self they would like to bring forth. In creating and decorating a mask, we can see and hold and understand our own persona in a very tangible way.
Info source – The Mask – a Disguise of a Lifetime