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Maskmaking - from a different perspective


From: Melissa Enderle (melissaenderle_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Oct 07 2003 - 14:12:59 PDT

Living in Africa now for 3 years, I'd like to kindly ask you to remember
that there is no "African" mask. Each country has many cultures and ethnic
groups which have their own unique masks. In Mali, the Bambara and Dogon had
particularly interesting masks. While touring in Dogon villages, I had the
opportunity to see several masked ceremonies. What made the masks special
were the entire costumes and the dances that went along with the masks. So,
it's important to let kids know that the masks serve a specific function and
purpose - not to decorate the mud-brick walls of the artists!
Also in the West African region, the Bobo people from Burkina Faso produce
some wonderfully inspiring (design-wise) masks. I'd be happy to answer more
questions about the different ethnic groups in Mali that made masks. For
some pictures and info, you can go to my website at:

Melissa Enderle
Technology Facilitator
American Cooperative School of Tunis