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7th Grade -African Masks

A presentation about the makings, uses, and history of African masks.

Ms Rogala

on 26 April 2013

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Transcript of 7th Grade -African Masks

African Masks
by Ms. Rogala Agenda: What do you think
they made of?
Make a list in your sketchbook - DATED
there is a winning prize for the student who lists the most. African masks are made from
several different materials including: wood bronze brass copper ivory terracotta ceramic However, wood was used for
most of them for two reasons: 1. Trees are in plentiful supply in the forest. 2. "The carver believes that the tree has a spiritual soul and its wood is the most natural
home for the spirit in the mask" (Arty 1). Wooden masks, in particular, are colored with natural dyes from things such as: -vegetables -plants -seeds -tree bark -soil -insects Sometimes, they would even color it with sacrificial blood to increase the spiritual power of the mask. “They are often decorated with cowrie shells, colored beads, bone, animal skins and vegetable fibre” (Arty 1). Where are they produced and by whom? There are several different designs of the masks that are produced all over Africa by gifted carvers in the tribes. The following designs come from the tribes of: What are they used for? African masks are thought to represent the spirits of ancestors. A chosen dancer would wear the mask as part of a ceremonial costume “during celebrations, initiations, crop harvesting, war preparation, and peace and trouble times” (African Masks History 1). During the ritual, the dancer would communicate with his ancestors. And that's just to name a few! How long have people been wearing Masks? People have been using these masks as far back as Paleolithic times (Old Stone Age). What symbols or markings do they contain? The majority of the masks have patterns that are both geometrical and symmetrical. Each shape represents something different. For example, certain shapes can determine if the mask belongs to a male or female. Different kinds of lines on the masks can tell if the masks have magical or religious powers. These lines can be: Parallel Zigzag Cruciform Curved Spiraled I believe that some would be able to live without Masks while others most likely would not. For those who never experienced a ceremony with these masks would not know the difference. However, those who encounter them during nearly every ceremony would not get the same spiritual feeling as usual. Each mask gives them spiritual connection with ancestors and is part of their life. Their pathway to spirituality would narrow drastically without them. Works Cited

"African Masks." Arty Factory. 2011. Web. 07 May 2012.

"African Masks History and Meaning." African Masks History and Meaning. 2000. Web. 07 May
2012. <http://www.rebirth.co.za/african_mask_history_and_meaning.htm>. Masks Warm-up: Warm-up
Intro to Masks
Sketch a mask in your sketchbook
Exit pass Exit Pass 1) Name 3 things you found out?
2) Name two interesting things.
3) What is one question you have?

Answer in your sketchbook (DATED) Masks from Around the World http://www.genuineafrica.com/ Let's look at some
masks from Africa. Sketch 2-3 ideas in your sketchbook as well look at masks.
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