Ceremonial masks are an important part of African tribal culture. Make your own African mask using a paper plate and a few other materials while you learn about various African tribes and their cultures.
Before making your mask, it will be helpful to learn more about African masks and its cultural significance to the tribal people of Africa. This will give you ideas on designing your own mask. Check out some of these resources:
Start out with an 8½-inch or 10-inch paper plate. Draw and cut out a pair of eye holes.
3Make the nose and mouth.
Take some strips of newspaper. Twist and form them into a mouth and nose shape. Glue them onto the plate.
4Paint the mask.
Paint your mask with a base color, which is typically brown, black, or white. Use a water-based paint like tempera or poster paint. Let the paint dry completely.
5Paint the details.
Paint dots, lines, and patterns according to the African tribal mask you have in mind. You can go with a single color such as white or make the mask as colorful as you like.
6Add some hair.
Some African tribal masks have hair. We used colorful strips of crepe paper on ours. The crepe paper strips were slightly crumpled up before being glued onto the paper plate. Besides crepe paper, you can also glue some raffia, yarn, or feathers.
7Use the mask.
Showcase your masks on your classroom wall or wear them as part of an African-themed learning activity.
For this mask, colored pasta and beads were strung together to make the hair. To achieve this, we punched several holes near the edge of the mask's top half. A pipe cleaner was fastened to each hole. Beads and colored pasta were then strung through each pipe cleaner.