The ancient Egyptians typically wore masks for rituals, as a way to bestow upon themselves the powers of the gods. They also wore masks after death when they were buried to assist them with transforming from the mortal realm to that of the divine.
In rituals and ceremonies, the Egyptians wore masks to help them in their incantations, which were their way of speaking to the gods. Affluent Egyptians often had their death masks made from solid gold and inlaid with precious gems such as lapis lazuli. Masks were normally in the likeness of the deceased; however, some had the visage of a bird or fantastic creature.