Did you know...

Some of Picasso's art was influenced by African masks.

Many masks represent ancestors.

Some masks are used for curing sickness.





African Masks

your task

Why are masks important to African traditions and cultures?

You might have visited a museum or a store and seen African masks. Have you ever wondered why they were made or what they are used for?

Although masking ceremonies are not as common place in Africa as they once were, masks are still looked at as an important part of African culture and history and are still used in important rituals and celebrations. In this website you will learn how to make an African mask using papier mache. In the process you will also learn about how masks were used in Africa and about the many ethnic groups in Africa.

Your Task:

Your classroom is being transformed into an African Art museum. You have been hired as a curator to help design the African Mask section. You will need to:

  1. Choose an African Mask.
  2. Research the Tribe in which the mask is from.
  3. Recreate the Mask using papier mache.
  4. Write a Museum Piece that describes your mask and tribe.

Home | Mask Research | Ethnic Group Research| Mask Making | Museum Piece | For Teachers | Examples

Website Created by Leilani Carbonell Pedroni © 2002-2004
Contact Leilani at
Content and Student Work Provided by Leilani Carbonell and Kent Fitzsimmons, Bret Harte Middle School, Oakland, CA

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African Mask