African Mask Making!

3rd Grade, Teaching

Students in the 3rd grade studied Africa and 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 the 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 there were 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 African masks, students had to choose what type of African masks they would create. 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 making their decision, students designed and created African Masks using found materials and paint.