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(CC) Photo: Eddie von der Becke
Masks for sale in the tourist market in Chichicastenango, Guatemala.

A mask is designed to be worn on the face. Some, like ski masks, gas masks or the protective masks sometime worn by athletes, are designed for purely utilitarian purposes such as warmth or protection, but most masks are worn to modify the wearer's identity in one way or another: they may be used to hide one's identity during a bank robbery or a magic show, or they may be used to manifest other identities during rituals or festive occasions such as a masquerade ball. Masks may also be decorative or ornamental – many faux ritual masks are now produced around the world specifically for tourist consumption.