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Re: [teacherartexchange] African masks paper mache high school

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From: Judy Decker (judy.decker_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Nov 05 2007 - 05:04:28 PST


Hi Gaby,

First, do some research on masks. Look at Dogon Masks, Senufo Masks,
Baule Masks, Kuba Masks, Bamana Masks, Bwa Masks..... you get the
idea. Africa is a big continent. Look at masks from some specific
ethnic groups. Look at characteristics, materials used and reasons for
the masks. St. Louis Museum of Art has/had an excellent slide program
of masks (you might call the education department to see if it is
still available). I really liked the video African Art: Through the
Eyes of Africa (Art Video World has it). It was about art of Mali
(Bamana and Dogon). I have some good resources on my site - see
African Art Links page.

I agree with Jeff, High School students should not be copying African
Masks, but rather making masks representing their own culture. They
can use some of the characteristics of African masks (using found
materials, exaggeration/distortion, repetition, geometric
motifs....and so forth). Have the students gather some interesting
stuff from around their homes to incorporate in their masks.

Here is a lesson plan:
http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/middle/Larry-mask.htm

Here is another lesson plan:
http://www.princetonol.com/groups/iad/lessons/high/Justin-masks.htm
although this is for clay

I have an outline created by Stacie D (folks here will remember her as
Stacie Mich) that I can send to you - reply to me off list. I will see
if I can find it).

My best advice to you - is DO a mask yourself - work through it. Ideas
on how to better teach the unit will pop in your head as you are
making your own.

There was a good discussion on African Mask making summer 2005 on
Getty list. If you are interested, I will tell you how to find it.

Judy Decker

On 11/5/07, Jeff Pridie wrote:
> Gaby,
>
> First research regions in Africa for particular mask
> designs and patterns. You could combine the African
> mask design project with the study of Cubism and Math
> (Geometry). Using the research you do students then
> could produce mask representational of themselves,
> their culture.........

> Jeff (Minnesota)
> --- "gaby wrote:
>
> > hello,
> > I was wondering if anyone has any good ideas for
> > doing african masks. I have not done them myself so
> > would love some tips.
> > Thanks,
> > Gaby

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