Mask Making!

  • Closeup shot of painting arts on the display
  • A young girl painting on a wall.
  • A group of papier mache masks hanging on a wall.
  • A group of masks on a table.
  • A girl wearing a purple shirt.
  • A girl wearing a red shirt.
  • A boy is working on a piece of paper.
  • A girl with long hair.
  • A boy is working on a paper boat.
3rd Grade, Teaching

Students in the 3rd grade studied the African culture in their general classrooms. As an accompanying art study and in celebration of Black History Month, students learned about the role of masks in African culture. They learned that masks were used for various celebrations including weddings, a newly initiated member, the birth of a child, the coming of the crops, and more! We looked at mask masks found in African cultures such as Dan masks, Ligbi, Kwele, Pende, Senufo masks, and more!

They also learned a few different ways to wear a traditional African mask. Some wore their masks as a vertical mask, a helmet, and/or a crest. We found out that masks can be made with many different materials including leather, fabric, wood, metal, and more. 

After studying all about mask making in various African cultures, students designed a mask of their own. Would it be Anthropomorphic (a mask resembling a human form)? Would it be zoologic (a mask resembling animal form)? Would it be composite (a mask resembling both human & animal)? After deciding      , students designed and created masks with meaning using found materials and paint.