Event Detail


Tribal Masks: Global Symbols of Ritual & Culture

Chris Rainier
Tuesday, 29 Oct 2019
Jacada Travel, 29/F Wyndham Place, 40-44 Wyndham Street, Central
Pre-payment is required.
In this talk, Chris Rainier tells of the extraordinary global tradition of tribal masks, captured through the lens of one of the world’s most celebrated documentary photographers. Through masks, he tells the story of indigenous and endangered cultures worldwide. Having started to study the masks of New Guinea, where modernity threatened to erase some of the world’s most fascinating ancient rituals and cultures, he started a journey to find and photograph traditional masks that has taken him across six continents over the past 30 years.

The result is this is a mesmerising photographic collection of masks, some of them ancient, some newer, many hidden at the edges of the known world and rarely revealed to outsiders.  These masks are still being danced today, in countless cultures all over the world.  Chris shows how they are pulsing with the rhythms of life, full of power and spiritual relevance.

The talk ranges from the masks found at initiation rituals in Burkina Faso in Africa to Bon Buddhist masks long hidden in a Nepalese monastery in the high Himalayas.  He also shows the raven and bear regalia of North American First Nations, Nagaland's tattooed head hunters and the terrifying, child-chasing Krampus masks of the Austrian Alps.  It also includes Mongolian shamans, Bhutanese monks and mask-wearers from across five other continents.   Accompanying these striking images are fascinating stories recounting Chris’s journeys to distant lands to celebrate these objects of beauty and power and the cultures that produce them.

Chris Rainier hails from the United States and is a documentary photographer and National Geographic explorer, respected for his documentation of endangered cultures and traditional languages around the globe.  He is the Director of the Cultural Sanctuaries Foundation, a global programme focused on legally preserving biodiversity and cultural heritage.  He also served as a cultural editor and photographer for National Geographic Traveler magazine for over 18 years.

Mr Rainier has photographed on all seven continents, focusing on the preservation of the planet's last wildernesses and traditional cultures.  He has received the Lowell Thomas Award from The Explorers Club and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.  He has published five books documenting traditional cultures around the globe, from the Stone Age tribes of New Guinea to the ancient tradition of tattoo body marking, in addition to his most recent book, Mask.

Members of the RGS, their guests and others are most welcome to attend this event, which is HK$150 for RGS Members and HK$200 for guests and others, including a complimentary glasses of white or red wine.  This event is free of charge for our Student Members.

 The Royal Geographical Society - Hong Kong wishes to express its thanks to Jacada Travel as the Venue Sponsor of this talk. 



See other events in 2019