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Lesson Plans

Re: Mardi Gras masks

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Betty Bowen (
Fri, 15 Jan 1999 09:39:05 -0600

At the bookstore last night I came across a small book from the University
Press of Mississippi called "Cajun Mardi Gras Masks". It was about a rural
French-speaking community/region called Tee Mamou - I didn't have time to
read it all, so I'm not sure what or where Tee Mamou is. Their masks are
unique to that group, and are - get this -- painted screen wire! They don't
cut out any eyeholes, but paint the screen with faces and decorate the
outside edge with fringe or feathers. Some glue on sparkly bits, etc., but
the basic mask is straight across the top then shaped like a U. Some have a
"dart" at the chin to make it fit, but most didn't. Many of them used the
screen as a base for needlepoint designs. These are passed down through
generations and are a cottage industry. I thought it was kind of amazing.
The overall geometric designs and the shape reminded me of painted African