Mask-making societies are common to many areas of Nyambe. These are typically secret organizations, composed only of males, which engage in the construction of enchanted masks. In recent years, though, some have begun to question the tradition that limits membership to men.
A mask-making society is responsible for maintaining the history, mythology, and arcane lore of a community, as well as punishing criminals and enforcing morality. By concealing their identities, mask makers are able to operate without fear of reprisal. More importantly, a mask maker ritually assumes the identity of an orisha spirit by constructing and wearing an enchanted mask, and takes on the powers granted by that spirit. For this reason, masks are tremendously important to Nyamban cultures.
Some mask-making societies operate openly with the blessing and support of a community, and many rural villages are actually controlled by mask-making societies rather than any traditional form of government. Unfortunately, some mask makers become drunk with power and turn their societies into little more than magically potent organized crime gangs.
This free Nyambe: African Adventures preview introduces you to the mask maker prestige class, and some examples of the magical masks they create.