I recently started playing the latest version of my favorite computer game, Virtual Villagers. In this version they discover a tribe that wears masks. At one point in the game, the reason is revealed. After a great loss, "we retreated into the jungle and into a despair so deep and suffocating that we lost all hope. We stopped believing in the island, in any guiding force. We stopped even believing in ourselves, and so we covered our faces with hideous masks. We were truly lost."
This hits a nerve. I have a collection of both literal and figurative masks.