The person who wears the mask is also considered to be in direct association with the mask’s spirit force and is consequently exposed to like personal danger of being affected by it. For the sake of protection, the wearer, like the mask maker, is required to follow certain sanctioned procedures in using the mask.
In some respects he plays the role of an actor in cooperation or collaboration with the mask. Without the dance and posturing routines that the mask wearer performs, often to the accompaniment of music, the mask would remain a representation without a full life-force. The real drama and power of its form is the important contribution of the wearer.
Covered by the mask and costume, the performer loses his previous identity and assumes a new one. Upon donning the mask, the wearer sometimes undergoes a psychic change and as in a trance assumes the spirit character depicted by the mask.
Usually, however, the wearer skillfully becomes a ‘partner’ of the character he is impersonating, giving to the mask not only an important spark of vitality by the light flashing from his own eyes but also bringing it alive by his movements and poses.
But often the wearer seems to become psychologically one with the character he is helping to create. He seems to become an automaton, without his own will, which has become subservient to that of the personage of the mask. At all times there remains some important, even if sub rosa, association between the mask and its wearer.