The Art of African Mask Making
As a part of our Non-Western Art unit, you will be making a replica of an authentic
African Mask. Designs for these masks can range from simple to complex. You will be
asked to (1)select a mask from a traditional African culture, (2) make a three dimensional
replica, (3)write an essay describing the mask’s art elements and purposes, (4)doing a
memorized public presentation and (5)display your work either in the classroom or the
You will be graded on the quality of the mask, the clarity of your essay, and preparation
for the presentation.
Consider ways to expand this project. You can experiment with various medium. You
can use wood, clay, paper mache, layered cardboard, or metal. (You can be creative) Pay
particular attention to the art elements found in the mask. Many masks have dominant
geometric elements or repeated lines. Research the meaning of the symbols, shapes
and/or colors. Masks also have texture. Your main job is to recreate the predominant
features of the mask.
Placard for your display
1. Your name
2. Name of the original Mask
3. Origin of Mask
4. Purpose of the Mask
5. Identifying characteristics (predominant features)
6. An embedded picture of the original mask
Your placard should not be any bigger than this example.
Rubric on page 2
Mask 1. The mask is colorful or very close to the colors of
2. The mask is three dimensional
3. the size of mask is as large or larger than a human
head and can be worn 40
4. Mask must be displayed after the presentation
either in the room or in the library
5. Make an identifying placard with appropriate
information. (see page 1 for example) This will be
on display with your mask.
6. Predominant features are clearly included
Article 1. Clear and concise
2. Include information such as origin, the purpose of
the mask, how it was made and what it was made
3. Predominant features of the mask are highlighted
4. Appropriate usage of art elements and principles
of design terminology 40
5. Typed (Will not be accepted if not typed)
6. At least 2 full pages
7. 2 columns
8. At least 2 pictures embedded in the text, (not cut
out and taped). One of one of your pictures must
be of the original mask. The width of picture
should not dominate the width of a column.
9. Use 3 sources. References cited on a “Works
Cited” page. You may use internet sources but
DO NOT USE WIKIPEDIA
10. Font size 10 or 12
11. Times New Roman
Presentation Information to be given in the short memorized
presentation should include:
1. The name of the mask
2. The predominant features of the mask.
3. Purpose of the mask. 20
4. Culture or place of origin
5. Do your best to pronounce the words.
6. You must be able to give your presentation
7. You must present your information, even if others
in the class have the same mask.