African Ceremonial Mask

African Ceremonial Mask African Ceremonial Mask - Start

2018-11-05 8K 8 0 0

African Ceremonial Mask - Description

Project . Due 2/28/18. Today is 2/05/18. Objective . Students will develop an awareness of the social significance of cultural artifacts such as mask.. Students will explore using a mask for the purpose of communicating history and tribal culture, evoking emotion or storytelling.. ID: 716731 Download Presentation

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African Ceremonial Mask

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African Ceremonial Mask


Due 2/28/18

Today is 2/05/18



Students will develop an awareness of the social significance of cultural artifacts such as mask.

Students will explore using a mask for the purpose of communicating history and tribal culture, evoking emotion or storytelling.

Students will study African traditions and beliefs and translate their knowledge into an art form.


2 Step Project

The Students will have to create a Ceremonial Mask out of various materials and write a story.

The Mask must be large enough to cover the Student’s face.

The student

must research

African Mythology and create a 1 page African mythology Story about their mask and share it with the class.


Ceremonial Mask

In Africa masks can be traced back to well past Paleolithic times. These art objects were, and are still made of various materials,


leather, metal,


and various types of wood.


Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) was a famous Spanish painter who spent most of his life in France. He is best known for his unique way of painting the world around him such as people and animals. He was an excellent artist, well versed in painting the real world around him until, he came into contact with African art. In particular, the masks of Africa inspired him the most and he began to incorporate these in his works.

African masks are considered amongst the finest creations in the art world and are highly sought after by art collectors.

Many of the pieces some replica's, can be viewed in museums and art galleries in many parts of the world. Masking ceremonies in Africa have great cultural and traditional significance. Latest developments and understanding of Aesthetic principles, religious and ceremonial values, have brought about a greater insight into the ideas and moral values that African artists express in their art.


Chosen One

During celebrations, initiations, crop harvesting, war preparation, peace and trouble times, African masks are worn by a chosen or initiated dancer. It can be worn in three different ways: vertically covering the face: as helmets, encasing the entire head, and as crest, resting upon the head, which was commonly covered by material as part of the disguise. African masks often represent a spirit and it is strongly believed that the spirit of the ancestors possesses the wearer.


Spiritual Meanings

Ritual ceremonies generally depict deities, spirits of ancestors, mythological beings, good and or evil, the dead, animal spirits, and other beings believed to have power over humanity. Masks of human ancestors or totem ancestors (beings or animals to which a clan or family traces its ancestry) are often objects of family pride; when they are regarded as the dwelling of the spirit they represent, the masks may be honored with ceremonies and gifts.


Trance Like States

During the mask ceremony the dancer goes into deep trance, and during this state of mind he "communicate" with his ancestors. A wise man or translator sometimes accompanies the wearer of the mask during the ritual. The dancer brings forth messages of wisdom from his ancestors. Often the messages are grunted utterances and the translator will accurately decipher the meaning of the message. Rituals and ceremonies are always accompanied with song, dance and music, played with traditional African musical instruments.


Due to Modernized governments cultural ceremonies are no longer common in Africa.


Possible Material Ideas:


Poster board

Cardboard pizza circles are a good option.

Plaster Cloth (advanced)

Paper Plates

Paint/ Markers

Crayons/ Color Pencils

Paper Mache

Shells/ Feathers




Dried Beans

Construction paper









* Google and Pinterest are always great resources


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