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Lesson Plans

[Fwd: History African Masks]

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John & Sandra Barrick (astroboy)
Mon, 13 Apr 1998 00:32:26 -0400

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I finally figured out how to get at the African files and paste
up. Now the text was originally Italic and although I pasted up twice I
can't line it up right. It shows lined up when I paste it but after I
send it back to myself it comes up uneven. Well To Louise and Sue hope
you received it this time and could read files.Unfortunatly I have about
15 other Artist's files which have been lost. It's a good thing they
were printed out first!
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Date: Thu, 02 Apr 1998 23:26:59 -0500
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Subject: History African Masks
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African Masks

Each tribe in Africa had it's own mask maker. This man was a
skilled craftsman and held a position of great honor in the tribe. This
honor and skill was passed down from one generation to the next. The
mask maker decided what type of mask someone could have and then began
carving and decorating it. There were many rules about how they were
made and how they were worn. The materials used depended on what was in
the area and what could be traded for.

Some masks were used for certain roles in the tribe,such as
the priest, the medicine man, the judge... Others might show feelings.
They were usually worn to be danced in: the wearer became the mask and
may dance for hours. They reinforced tribal beliefs or laws. They gave
significance to celebrations, such as weddings and funerals and
rites of passage.

Masks were also used in ceremonies to help influence spirits-perhaps to
help bring rain for a crop or to help defeat an enemy.

Song, dance and stories were ways of passing information
along through the years. The masks used during the telling might
portray ancestors or animals in historic events. They added power and
strength to the ceremony.


  • Maybe reply: Maggie White: "Re: [Fwd: History African Masks]"
  • Maybe reply: Charlotte Griswold: "Re: [Fwd: History African Masks]"