•African cultures have criteria for their artworks based on their standards of physical beauty or particular attributes that they deem important to the community. •African artworks combine craftsmanship with criteria to create practical objects. •African masks are works of art that are used to communicate information to the members of the community. •African masks are works of art that form a link for communication between the members of the physical and the spirit worlds.
1. Emphasis on abstraction, simplification, and exaggeration 2. Strong use of geometric shapes 2. Communicates religious, moral, political, and social values of a group
Materials Used In Africa metal leather fabric wood shells mirrors
Ways Masks are worn 1. Vertically covering face 2. As helmets (encasing the entire head 3. As a crest (rests on the head and covers the chest)
Generating Ideas Look at African Masks online to get ideas. Choose an animal or a person as your subject. It is often hard to tell if an African mask is a person or animal. They are not very realistic. Most masks have at least one characteristic that is exaggerated. For example, the subject may have a large nose or mouth. Pick one feature to exaggerate.
African masks should be seen as part of a ceremonial costume. They are used in religious and social events to represent the spirits of ancestors or to control the good and evil forces in the community. They come to life, possessed by their spirit in the performance of the dance, and are enhanced by both the music and atmosphere of the occasion. Some combine human and animal features to unite man with his natural environment. This bond with nature is of great importance to the African and through the ages masks have always been used to express this relationship. Below is a website that has drawings of different African Masks. Click on 5 different masks and read about their meanings, characteristics, and symbolism.
Part of this project will be personalizing the mask to represent you in some way. Looking back to the Mind Map and Personal Symbol project from the beginning of the year, what are some ways you can represent some aspect of who you are or your culture on the mask. You may choose to incorporate part or all of the symbol you originally created for yourself on the mask or you can represent yourself in some other way. You will be required to write a small paragraph describing how the mask represents you. Save your paragraph as a PDF and turn it in to Schoology.
There are several online sites that ask you a series of questions and pair you with an animal who represents your dominant characteristics. Take the quizzes if you would like help in choosing an animal that represents you. Results vary from site to site.
Visual Development Choose an African animal for your subject. Draw the basic shape and features of your mask. This will be used as a guideline for your final piece and will be turned in as part of your grade. Be sure and exaggerate a feature of the face (like extra big, nose, eyes, ears, mouth, forehead, and chin). Add extras like horns, African symbols, geometric designs, hair, etc. For the final piece you will need 4 layers, a minimum of one area of flitting, and limited paint accents. Please label your drawing to show where you plan to have these on the final piece. This step must be done first, be complete, and turned in before you begin your final.Take a Photo and turn it in to Schoology.
Final Design You will create a large African mask out of cardboard. Below is a list of things that you must include on your mask. 1. You will need to have a minimum of 4 layers or a 3-Dimensional form. 2. Cardboard can be cut-out and items may be added above or below the main base of the mask. 3. Flutting must be used as part of your design. 4. Design work should consist of cutout shapes rather than drawn-on shapes. 5. Very little paint should be used - just as an accent 6. Supports should be glued on the back of items to help hold bent cardboard when needed 7. Use an Xacto knife and a cutting mat (DON'T USE SCISSORS) 8. Glue it together with hot glue 9. The cardboard represents wood used to carve the masks. No printed words should show on the finished product. 10. THE MASK MUST SYMBOLIZE YOU IN SAME WAY!
Refinement Ask someone at your table if anything needs to be added. Clean up any messy areas (glue or cut marks)
Take a photograph of your mask and turn it in to Schoology. The photo should be clear, from the front, and have no part of your body showing.
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