I also use this video EVERY year with my 5th graders. We do clay zoomorphic
masks (part animal/part person). This is a great video for showing different
cultures from Chinese to African to Mexican and Native American (Kwakiutl
There is an excellent variety of materials represented, ("mud head" is one
of my favorites)
Woven masks, paper mache from an artist in Mexico that uses actual pig or
goat teeth, and fur. (the students love those )
Giant tribal masks that are similar to kites from the Pacific islands. Other
materials range from wood, leather, feather,bone, shells, spider webs, face
It covers cultural uses from the Noh dramas to el tigre in a Mexican
festival, to Mardi Gras. It also nicely features contemporary artists such
as Peggy Flores paper masks, and others working in metal, and paper mache.
I think the narrator is a bit dry, so I pep it up by pausing at certain
points and adding my own energetic asides. Pointing out areas that pertain
to our goal of zoomorphic masks.
I find that if I get excited about something and express it that way to the
students, it feeds their interest.
We follow with a recap of them telling me materials they saw, countries the
art was from, uses for the masks, why we could or would wear masks in our
culture. In what jobs people use masks, and reasons why. I have them for 40
minutes, this video gives time for intro viewing, and discussion afterward.
My students are chomping at the bit by the time we draw our plans the
following week. Then we work in Model Magic clay (due to lack of kiln). Last
steps are to paint and embellish with feathers, beads shells, found,
objects, sticks, rocks, fake fur, yarn etc. (I even let them do piercings
this year to add a bit of excitement, as this is a tradition in many
cultures, including ours !). (the "no blood" in our art rule applies to all
projects in Art.)
I will share photos next week after they have finished.
Hope this helps,
Christine Besack :)
----- Original Message -----
From: "Judith Decker" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "ArtsEdNet Talk" <email@example.com>
Sent: Wednesday, May 12, 2004 8:36 AM
Subject: Masks from Many Cultures - anyone? (Larry P)
> Dear Art Educators,
> Larry Prescott does something with masks with all
> grade levels. Does anyone have an opinion on Masks
> from Many Cultures? ...